Share this entry
dervish Line breaks: der|vish
Pronunciation: /ˈdəːvɪʃ/

Definition of dervish in English:


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.
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.


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

Words that rhyme with dervish

Definition of dervish in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources