su·​tra ˈsü-trə How to pronounce sutra (audio)
: a precept summarizing Vedic teaching
also : a collection of these precepts
: one of the discourses of the Buddha that constitute the basic text of Buddhist scripture

Examples of sutra in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the scribes who copied the canonical scriptures called sutras during the first centuries of Japanese Buddhism employed a more generic style. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2023 The sutras themselves were thought to have supernatural powers and were sometimes deployed as protective talismans. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 25 Apr. 2023 What the publisher could not have imagined was the license LuYang would take with the sutra 1151 years later, reconstituting it as a video game titled The Great Adventure of Material World. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 8 June 2022 In the end, this ragtag band finally acquires the sutra scrolls from a surprisingly worldly-wise Buddha and achieves a kind of sainthood for themselves. Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2021 The Daizo sutra is a compilation of Buddhist writings consisting of 5,048 scrolls. Ryozui Ryosen, Harpers Magazine, 5 Jan. 2021 These ties of the five thousand scrolls will unravel in my empty belly; out the Daizo sutra’s words will flow, and settle there inside me. Ryozui Ryosen, Harpers Magazine, 5 Jan. 2021 In Asia, Buddhist monks have been chanting sutras to provide spiritual relief. Brooke Schedneck, The Conversation, 1 Apr. 2020 Then there was Mencius, Mahavira, Laozi and the Buddha — as he is portrayed in both the Pali Canon and the innovative Mahayana sutras, which may be the world’s first fan fiction. Randy Rosenthal, Washington Post, 20 Dec. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sutra.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Sanskrit sūtra precept, literally, thread; akin to Latin suere to sew — more at sew

First Known Use

1801, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of sutra was in 1801

Dictionary Entries Near sutra

Cite this Entry

“Sutra.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2023.

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