Definition of shaman in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈSHämən/

noun (plural shamans)

A person regarded as having access to, and influence in, the world of good and evil spirits, especially among some peoples of northern Asia and North America. Typically such people enter a trance state during a ritual, and practice divination and healing.
Example sentences
  • While performing the ritual, the shaman (witch doctor) dances and enters into a trance.
  • Rituals of traditional belief systems mark life-cycle events or involve propitiation for particular occasions and are led by shamans, spirit mediums, or prayer masters (male or female).
  • Other religious practitioners include spirit mediums and shamans, most of whom are women.
medicine man/woman, healer, kahuna



Pronunciation: /ˈSHäməˌnizəm/
Example sentences
  • The cult of spirits, shamanism, and ancestor worship compose the three major parts of traditional Hmong religion.
  • Confucianism, Taoism, and shamanism have also influenced Japanese religion.
  • He writes about shamanism, paganism, mysticism and feminism, and approaches them all with respect, compassion and mischief.


Pronunciation: /ˈSHämənəst/
noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • They were Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Manicheans, pagans, nomads, shamanists, and animists as well, and, ethnically speaking, Seljuks, Khazars, Bulgars, Timurids, Mongols, Anatolians and Chinese.
  • There are scores of ex-Mormons, shamanists, pagans, and atheists meeting up, hoping to find camaraderie.
  • Can it be a good idea to take shamanist ways of working and using them for spiritualist work?


Pronunciation: /ˌSHäməˈnistik/
Example sentences
  • The oldest Buddhist sect in Tibet, it emphasizes mysticism and incorporates shamanistic practices and local deities borrowed from the pre-Buddhist Bon religion.
  • We hear about pre-Christian religion, pagan beliefs, shamanistic rituals and healing drums, and the story is narrated in ambiguous and multivocal words and concepts.
  • Many areas were not converted to Islam until the eighteenth century, and even then it was by the mystical Sufi branch, who integrated local shamanistic practices with their religion.


Pronunciation: /-ˌnīz/
Example sentences
  • Protestant Christianity was no exception: It had to be ‘shamanized’ considerably in order to be more agreeable to the religious imagination of the Korean people.


Late 17th century: from German Schamane and Russian shaman, from Tungus šaman.

Words that rhyme with shaman

barman, barmen, Brahman, Carman, Carmen, Sharman, Tutankhamen

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sha·man

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