sha·​man ˈshä-mən How to pronounce shaman (audio)
 also  shə-ˈmän
plural shamans
: a priest or priestess who uses magic for the purpose of curing the sick, divining the hidden, and controlling events
: one who resembles a shaman
especially : high priest sense 3
shə-ˈma-nik How to pronounce shaman (audio)

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The shaman was a tribe’s liaison with the spirit world. Will Hunt, Discover Magazine, 23 July 2012 Early on in their stay, Whitney Rose hired a shaman, Kseniya, to help the women embark on a healing journey. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, 20 Oct. 2022 Braxton is part football coach, part trainer, part shaman, blending knowledge of football and body mechanics with alpha swagger. Dallas News, 22 July 2022 In July 2010 Boyd invited a Huichol shaman from the Sierra Madre to White Shaman. Will Hunt, Discover Magazine, 23 July 2012 After less than a year of dating, they were married by a Ute Indian shaman on New Year's Eve 2000, at the Old Snowmass, Colorado, home of Hudson's mother, Goldie Hawn. Ariana Quihuiz, Peoplemag, 14 Dec. 2022 The co-hosts joked that Rodgers could be a hippie or shaman. Christopher Kuhagen, Journal Sentinel, 22 Nov. 2022 The cave, which served as a burial site, included the remains of one special woman who seemed to be a shaman for her community, said Natalie Munro, a University of Connecticut anthropologist who led the study. Maddie Burakoff, Hartford Courant, 21 Nov. 2022 Panda enlists the help of a 120-year-old shaman to turn Bhaskar back into a human, but the local police and militia are determined to hunt down both Bhaskar’s werewolf and the wolf that bit him. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 27 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


ultimately from Evenki (Tungusic language of Siberia) šamān

First Known Use

1698, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of shaman was in 1698

Dictionary Entries Near shaman

Cite this Entry

“Shaman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Feb. 2023.

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