(In Indian mythology) a member of a semidivine race, part human and part cobra in form, associated with water and sometimes with mystical initiation.
- His canvasses have lustrous Buddhas, among nagas, dragons, animals and birds.
- Thus, the nagas, who in Buddhist mythology protected Buddha before his enlightenment by shooting down lightning bolts aimed at him, guard the sacred temple.
- Specially pertinent to this period is the image of Buddha seated on the mythological, multi-headed serpent or naga.
from Sanskrit nāga 'serpent'.
Entry from British & World English dictionary
noun (plural same or Nagas)
1A member of a group of peoples living in or near the Naga Hills of Burma (Myanmar) and northeastern India.
- The Nagas lived in mountainous north-east India on the Myanmar border.
- We have seen it in India in the agreement between the Government and the Nagas.
- Many Nagas are said now to speak broken Assamese and Hindi.
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Relating to the Naga or their language.
- From the color of their sarongs and the way they wear their machetes in a shoulder scabbard, I know they are Naga tribesmen.
- While music may have always been part of Naga life, the state has recently witnessed a sudden growth of pop bands and folk music groups.
- The talks with Naga elders may be fraught with tension but attempts are being made by both sides to keep the dialogue going.
perhaps from Sanskrit nagna 'naked' or naga 'mountain'.