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 Keep a particular eye out for Billie Lourd, ridiculously great as an out-there, drug-toting shaman of a wealthy classmate. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to watch on Hulu while social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic," 3 Apr. 2020 Chacho, a shaman, had died in July, and tonight was the culmination of the Tanoing festival commemorating her death. Scientific American, "How Disaster Aid Ravaged an Island People," 25 Mar. 2020 At one point in this tonally jolting play, now receiving its world premiere from Signature Theatre, the character watches a video by a goddess-movement shaman. Celia Wren, Washington Post, "‘Easy Women Smoking Loose Cigarettes’ veers jarringly from comedy to darkness," 1 Mar. 2020 Remember when that other shaman was trying to steal his powers, and Tiuri essentially conjured a protective bubble around himself? Jean Bentley,, "The Letter for the King," 20 Mar. 2020 Many new ayahuasca shamans have started touring Colombia giving yagé (another term for the brew) to enthusiasts. The Economist, "Indigenous Colombians fear losing their hallucinogenic brews," 14 June 2019 As Rafiki, the mandrill who is healer, sage and shaman, Zama sings in a powerful voice, gives Simba a crucial pep talk and pulls off several delightful comic bits. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'The Lion King' brings pride, spectacle and strong characters to Marcus Center," 7 Feb. 2020 The pair get in touch with their spiritual side and visit a shaman to test their compatibility. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "'The Bachelor' recap: Peter cuts six women amid intensifying Alayah, Kelsey drama," 4 Feb. 2020 Pairing off, Frank and Theresa try a mysterious drug offered by a maybe-real shaman-dealer (Tommy Flanagan). Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to watch (and skip) in theaters and on Amazon Prime this weekend," 17 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for shaman

Time Traveler

The first known use of shaman was in 1698

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Statistics for shaman

Last Updated

11 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shaman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for shaman


How to pronounce shaman (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for shaman

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shaman

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

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