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 shaman (audio) , -​ˈmä-​ \ adjective

Examples of shaman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the Asian shockumentary, a Thai camera crew follows Nim, a local shaman (Sawanee Utoomma) who was the latest in her family to be a vessel for a healing spirit named Ba Yan. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 14 Oct. 2021 Since his arrest, Chansley has made several attempts to be released from jail pending trial, and even successfully petitioned the court to move detention facilities in order to have access to organic foods in adherence to his shaman faith. Clare Hymes, CBS News, 3 Sep. 2021 Meanwhile, experiences range from breathing workshops with an Ayurveda practitioner to multi-day journeys with a shaman to commit to self-love. Christina Liao, Forbes, 20 Sep. 2021 In Indigenous communities from the Amazon to the Caribbean, the shaman’s maraca opens the channel to the spirit realm. New York Times, 15 Sep. 2021 The director of the Weltmuseum, Christian Schicklgruber, told the Spanish language wire service EFE last year that the headdress likely never belonged to Moctezuma and was instead worn by an important shaman. Los Angeles Times, 28 Aug. 2021 An in-house shaman is even available to conduct a one-on-one session aimed at improving your spiritual wellbeing. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 27 Aug. 2021 And during that era, no shaman was more magical — a higher priest of high culture — than Leonard Bernstein. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 14 Aug. 2021 Jake Angeli, known as the QAnon shaman, and who sported a fur helmet topped with horns and face paint, has been held in custody since his arrest in Phoenix in the days following the raid. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, 22 July 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near shaman

shama millet



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Statistics for shaman

Last Updated

23 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Shaman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for shaman



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on shaman

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shaman

Britannica English: Translation of shaman for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about shaman


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