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

Quick backstory for the uninitiated: Father John Misty is the swaggering, hallucinogen-taking, loudmouthed alter ego of Josh Tillman, a persona that sprang to life from Tillman’s psyche after tripping on ayahuasca with a Canadian shaman. Robert Steiner, BostonGlobe.com, "The confessions of Father John Misty," 30 May 2018 The herb is then imbued into a scrub, wrap, and massage, followed by a private session with a shaman, yoga, meditation, or a temazcal ritual. Victoria Veilleux, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most Out-There Spa Treatments of 2018, and Where to Get Them," 24 Jan. 2018 But late last week, this Canadian tourist's name and face somehow landed on a wanted poster accusing him of murdering a beloved shaman and indigenous activist in a remote rain forest in northeastern Peru. Author: Samantha Schmidt, Anchorage Daily News, "Canadian lynched in Peruvian Amazon, accused of killing an indigenous shaman," 23 Apr. 2018 Led by Manari Ushigua, an indigenous leader and shaman, the five- or- seven-day programs focus on meditation, traditional healing rituals, botany, dream interpretation, jungle treks, and river swims. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Places Our Travel Specialists Say You Should Go in 2019," 17 Dec. 2018 Two fleeing Roman soldiers literally spend months in a shack tripping on a shaman’s secret stores and debating religion. Lincoln Michel, GQ, "Britannia Will Tide You Over Until Game of Thrones Returns," 6 Feb. 2018 In April, Amazonian villagers in Peru dragged a Canadian tourist along the ground by a noose around his neck before killing him, believing him to be guilty of the murder of a local shaman. Samantha Pearson, WSJ, "In Latin America, Awash in Crime, Citizens Impose Their Own Brutal Justice," 6 Dec. 2018 The harvest rain’s principal contribution to the origins of religion was to spawn a priestly class—diviners and shamans—to forecast or summon it. Andrew Stark, WSJ, "‘Living With the Gods’ Review: The Gang’s All Here," 16 Nov. 2018 The woman’s sister was married to the shaman’s son, according to the Jakarta Post. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Elderly shaman tricked girl into having sex with him for 15 years while hiding her in cave, police say," 8 Aug. 2018

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

9 Jun 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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