Definition of dervish in English:

dervish

Line breaks: der|vish
Pronunciation: /ˈdəːvɪʃ
 
/

noun

  • A member of a Muslim (specifically Sufi) religious order who has taken vows of poverty and austerity. Dervishes first appeared in the 12th century; they were noted for their wild or ecstatic rituals and were known as dancing, whirling, or howling dervishes according to the practice of their order.
    More example sentences
    • His bold, expressive pictures are unmatched in the Islamic world, showing scenes of nomadic life; dancing and music-making demons, and Sufi dervishes.
    • You must see these Sufi dervishes go whirl round and round in great devotion.
    • Mystic orders and dervishes played an important role in their lives and dervish lodges provided food and shelter along the trade routes.

Origin

from Turkish derviş, from Persian darvīš 'poor', (as a noun) 'religious mendicant'.

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elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody