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

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 When the shaman died in 1994, his daughter took over his role of providing spiritual advice to Park, who was estranged from her siblings. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Disgraced former South Korean president gets 24 years in prison on corruption charges," 6 Apr. 2018 In fact, David used that same word that the shaman used when the exes had a spiritual reading in Bali. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Scott Disick's Birth Chart Reveals Once and For All Whether He Should Be With Kourtney Kardashian or Sofia Richie," 5 June 2019 There was a small crowd and a shaman was standing at the center. Paul Yoon, Harper's magazine, "Run Me to Earth," 10 Mar. 2019 Her father, Choi Tae-min, a shaman turned Christian pastor who founded an obscure sect called the Church of Eternal Life, befriended Ms. Park when her father, the strongman Park Chung-hee, ruled the country during the 1970s. Choe Sang-hun, New York Times, "South Korean Court Sentences Ex-President’s Confidante to 20 Years," 13 Feb. 2018 They are handed out by taitas, or shamans, who have travelled in by boat along a river to reach the jungle. The Economist, "Indigenous Colombians fear losing their hallucinogenic brews," 14 June 2019 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,, "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

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

21 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for shaman

The first known use of shaman was in 1698

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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 Encyclopedia article about shaman

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