shaman

noun
sha·​man | \ ˈshä-mən How to pronounce shaman (audio) , ˈshā- also shə-ˈmän\
plural shamans

Definition of shaman

1 : a priest or priestess who uses magic for the purpose of curing the sick, divining the hidden, and controlling events
2 : one who resembles a shaman especially : high priest sense 3

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Other Words from shaman

shamanic \ shə-​ˈma-​nik How to pronounce shamanic (audio) , -​ˈmä-​ \ adjective

Examples of shaman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Reaching the border with Tibet, Alexandra and Yongden lived among the monks and shamans of Kumbum Monastery for three years. Ailsa Ross, Longreads, "Mountains, Transcending," 9 Aug. 2019 The last visibly practicing shamans were in N.K.V.D. custody. Bathsheba Demuth, The New Yorker, "When the Soviet Union Freed the Arctic from Capitalist Slavery," 15 Aug. 2019 And a few doors down, a towering shaman-like figure wreathed in strings of multicolored beads cradles a conch close to his mouth, eyes closed. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "For public art in the Boston area, competing interests and big questions," 27 July 2019 On the day research clones were planted in Tacy’s field, shortly after Mother’s Day, shamans came to tap drums and bless the plants. Mackensy Lunsford, chicagotribune.com, "Women leading way as hemp revival sweeps North Carolina," 23 July 2019 New shamans are modifying the traditional ayahuasca rituals. The Economist, "Indigenous Colombians fear losing their hallucinogenic brews," 14 June 2019 In that film, which was based on historical documents and set in the Colombian Amazon, a shaman befriends two white explorers over the course of four decades, seeing both as embodiments of the same colonialist Western soul in need of healing. WSJ, "‘Birds of Passage’ Review: Splendor and the Grass," 14 Feb. 2019 Roky Erickson was in many ways an ideal candidate to become a monetized modern shaman. Tom Maxwell, Longreads, "Remembering Roky Erickson," 7 June 2019 The bag contains about two dozen teeth, which the shaman says are from Andean bears. National Geographic, "Poaching threatens South America's only bear species," 31 May 2019

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

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First Known Use of shaman

1698, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for shaman

ultimately from Evenki (Tungusic language of Siberia) šamān

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Statistics for shaman

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for shaman

The first known use of shaman was in 1698

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More Definitions for shaman

shaman

noun

English Language Learners Definition of shaman

: someone who is believed in some cultures to be able to use magic to cure people who are sick, to control future events, etc.

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More from Merriam-Webster on shaman

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shaman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shaman

Britannica English: Translation of shaman for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about shaman

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