sha·​man·​ism | \ ˈshä-mə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce shamanism (audio) , ˈshā-mə- also shə-ˈmä- \

Definition of shamanism

: a religion practiced by indigenous peoples of far northern Europe and Siberia that is characterized by belief in an unseen world of gods, demons, and ancestral spirits responsive only to the shamans also : any similar religion

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from shamanism

shamanist \ ˈshä-​mə-​nist How to pronounce shamanism (audio) , ˈshā-​mə-​ also  shə-​ˈmä-​ \ noun
shamanistic \ ˌshä-​mə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce shamanism (audio) , ˌshā-​mə-​ \ adjective

Examples of shamanism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Menla offers an array of group retreats focusing on everything from Buddhism to yoga, shamanism, and even conscious dying. Katie Jackson, Travel + Leisure, 20 Mar. 2021 Her practice pulls from Traditional Chinese Medicine, shamanism, Ayurveda, and current studies of energetics. Washington Post, 18 Mar. 2021 Chansley’s belief in shamanism has surfaced in court in the past. Joe Walsh, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2021 Cohen eventually took a 4-week intensive on Jewish shamanism, and soon started blending games with his religious practice. Eli Reiter, Wired, 21 Jan. 2021 Working in all media, contemporary artists continue to evolve the form, drawing from a prismatic array of philosophies, traditions and cultural movements — from ecofeminism and shamanism to Mexicayotl and Black Power. Steffie Nelson, Los Angeles Times, 15 Dec. 2020 Such is the case of Huautla, in the state of Oaxaca, a town well known among tourists for its shamanism and its Day of the Dead traditions. Rodrigo Cervantes, The Arizona Republic, 31 Oct. 2020 But witchcraft encompasses a wide range of cultural and regional beliefs, from shamanism to metaphysical ideas to pre-Christian folkloric traditions that historically have been viewed negatively. Joseph Prezioso, National Geographic, 23 Oct. 2020 Luckily for the reader of Children of Ash and Elm, Price happens to specialize in Viking religion and polar shamanism, and the book begins with a deep dive into Viking mythology and cosmological belief. Scott Beauchamp, Washington Examiner, 24 Sep. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of shamanism

1780, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About shamanism

Time Traveler for shamanism

Time Traveler

The first known use of shamanism was in 1780

See more words from the same year

Statistics for shamanism

Cite this Entry

“Shamanism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on shamanism Encyclopedia article about shamanism


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!