gymnosophist

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French gymnosophiste, from Latin gymnosophistae, from Ancient Greek γυμνοσοφισταί (gumnosophistaí), from γυμνός (gumnós, naked) + σοφιστής (sophistḗs, sophist).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /d͡ʒɪmˈnɒsəfɪst/

Noun[edit]

gymnosophist (plural gymnosophists)

  1. One of a school of ancient Indian ascetic philosophers, reported in antiquity, who wore little clothing; a mystic.
    • 1973, Patrick O'Brian, HMS Surprise:
      I was speaking today with an unclothed Hindu religious, a parama-hamsa, on the steps of a Portuguese church, a true gymnosophist.
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, vol. I, New York 2001, p. 250:
      As that gymnosophist in Plutarch made answer to Alexander (demanding which spake best), Every one of his fellows did speak better than the other: so may I say of these causes [...].