ori·​sha | \ ˈȯr-ə-ˌshä How to pronounce orisha (audio) \
plural orishas also orisha

Definition of orisha

: a Yoruba deity also : one identified with a Roman Catholic saint in Santeria

Examples of orisha in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Angélique Kidjo leads a cast of 10 in the central role of a Yoruban orisha (or spirit) in the production, which makes its Washington bow May 6 and 7 at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 An intermediary orisha, Esu serves as the messenger between the priest and Ifa, as the two spirits are close companions to each other. NOLA.com, 1 Sep. 2020 The carved face on the tray represents an orisha, Esu, a messenger from the deities. NOLA.com, 1 Sep. 2020 The paintings are inspired in part by an orisha (god) in the West African religion of Yoruba named Ori, which means head. Darryl Ratcliff, Dallas News, 13 May 2020 Oxum is the orisha of love, commonly represented as a woman dressed in yellow and holding a mirror. Kiratiana Freelon, The Root, 16 Dec. 2017 The Yoruba religion has more than 400 orishas like her, representatives of the supreme god Olodumare. Femke Van Zeijl, New York Times, 13 Dec. 2016 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orisha.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of orisha

1854, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for orisha

Yoruba òrìṣà

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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Orisha.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orisha. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on orisha

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about orisha


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