der·​vish | \ ˈdər-vish How to pronounce dervish (audio) \

Definition of dervish

1 : a member of a Muslim religious order noted for devotional exercises (such as bodily movements leading to a trance)
2 : one that whirls or dances with or as if with the abandonment of a dervish

Examples of dervish in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hare was a dervish, assisting on four consecutive fast-break baskets at one point and tallying eight points, including her final 3-pointer that boosted the Huskies’ lead to 54-27 heading into the fourth. Matt Le Cren,, 5 Jan. 2022 The 19-year-old pop sensation danced around the large stage like a dervish during her seven-song set, accompanied by a band that includes brother Finneas. Steve Bloom, Variety, 25 Sep. 2021 In fact, the whirling dervish out of UCLA looks like an enormous bargain for the Browns in the sixth round. Mary Kay Cabot, cleveland, 21 Sep. 2021 Not far behind is the pulpit dervish Clara Walker, whose exhortative way with a tune doubles as furnace and fan. New York Times, 24 June 2021 As Iranians say, the night is long and the dervish is awake. Washington Examiner, 25 Feb. 2021

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

First Known Use of dervish

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for dervish

Turkish derviş, literally, beggar, from Persian darvīsh

Learn More About dervish

Time Traveler for dervish

Time Traveler

The first known use of dervish was in 1585

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near dervish




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for dervish

Cite this Entry

“Dervish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on dervish Encyclopedia article about dervish


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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