Definition of shunyata in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈSHo͞onyəˌtä/

Entry from US English dictionary

(also sunyata)


The doctrine that phenomena are devoid of an immutable or determinate intrinsic nature. Compare with tathata.
Example sentences
  • In the buddhadharma, the true nature of things is shunyata, Sanskrit for ‘emptiness.’
  • That could be very desolate or it could be very inspiring, in terms of shunyata, the Buddhist understanding of emptiness.
  • The truth of a phenomenon is called shunyata, emptiness, which implies that the phenomenon does not possess a truly existent essence or nature.


From Sanskrit śūnyatā 'emptiness'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: shun·ya·ta

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