swa·​mi | \ ˈswä-mē How to pronounce swami (audio) \

Definition of swami

1 : a Hindu ascetic or religious teacher specifically : a senior member of a religious order used as a title
2 : one that resembles or emulates a swami : pundit, seer

Examples of swami in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Yogananda was the first Indian swami to make America his home. Deborah Netburn, Los Angeles Times, "If you practice yoga, thank this man who came to the U.S. 100 years ago," 19 Nov. 2020 Also born into an upper-caste family, Mr. Manav says he was compelled to drop his last name – a signifier of one’s caste – after hearing the swami speak. Soumya Shankar, The Christian Science Monitor, "How one monk’s “inner evolution” fuels social justice work," 21 May 2020 The statue of Hanuman Murti (inset above), god of courage, was a gift from a swami in the motherland to consecrate Sri Dattatreya Yoga Centre in 2003. Omar Mouallem, WSJ, "Trinidad: A Caribbean Vacation With an Indian Flavor," 17 Jan. 2020 Perhaps realising how bad things had become, my grandfather agreed to take a vow of celibacy in the presence of a swami. Vikram Zutshi, Quartz India, "Why do abusive men (and the women who support them) behave the way they do?," 19 July 2019 On one side were Mr. Cohn and free-trade advocates, and on the other was the Administration’s protectionist wing led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer and Mr. Trump’s personal trade swami, Peter Navarro. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Cohn Departure," 6 Mar. 2018 Delegates from both parties, all Lingayats, plead quietly for a moment of the swami’s dwindling time. The Economist, "Sect driveA medieval poet bedevils India’s most powerful political party," 23 Sep. 2017 Instead, the film is an immersive sensory experience that uses quiet pacing and dreamy rhythms to plunge the viewer inside the daily rituals and meditations of the swami and his students. National Geographic, "Beyond Yoga: Explore Life Inside a Hindu Spiritual Center," 8 July 2016 Each swami took a microphone and addressed the crowd for several minutes, some sending the attendees into peals of laughter with what sounded like standup-comedy patter. Jonathan M. Pitts, baltimoresun.com, "A birthday for the gods," 4 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'swami.' 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 swami

1895, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for swami

Hindi svāmī, from Sanskrit svāmin owner, lord, from sva one's own — more at suicide

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Cite this Entry

“Swami.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/swami. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of swami

: a Hindu priest or religious teacher

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about swami

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