From German Schamane, from Russian шаман (šamán), from Evenki шаман (šamán), itself possibly from Chinese 沙門 (shāmén, "Buddhist monk"), from Tocharian (cf. Tocharian B ṣamāne (“monk”)), from Pali समन (samana), Sanskrit श्रमण (śramaṇá, “ascetic, monk, devotee”), from श्रम (śráma, “fatigue, weariness, exhaustion; labor, toil etc.”).
- (RP) IPA: /ˈʃɑːmən/, /ˈʃæmən/
- Rhymes: -ɑːmən, -æmən
- (GenAm) IPA: /ˈʃɑːmən/, /ˈʃeɪmən/, /ʃəˈmɑːn/
- Rhymes: -ɑːmən, -eɪmən, -əmɑːn
shaman (plural shamans)
- A traditional (prescientific) faith healer.
- A member of certain tribal societies who acts as a religious medium between the concrete and spirit worlds.
Usage notes 
- The plural form is shamans, not shamen; the etymologically-consistent plural form from the original Evenki is shamasal, but this form sees no use in English; the plural form shamans is, however, universally accepted.
Derived terms 
- “shaman, n. (and a.)” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary [2nd Ed.; 1989]
- “shaman” listed in Merriam–Webster’s Online Dictionary (retrieved on the 19th day of September in 2008)
- “shaman” listed in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language [4th Ed.; 2000]
- ^ 1978: Carl B. Compton, The Interamerican, volume 25, №3 (Instituto Interamericano, Denton, Texas)
We learn from our readers: We have been wrong in writing the word “shamen” as a plural for “shaman”. The word probably comes from Russian and there is no plural except that made by adding an ‘s’ — e.g. Shamans.
- ^ 2003: Howard Isaac Aronson, Dee Ann Holisky, and Kevin Tuite, Current Trends in Caucasian, East European, and Inner Asian Linguistics — “Dialect Continua in Tungusic: Plural Morphology”, p103 (John Benjamin’s Publishing Company; ISBN 1588114619)
[…] we note here that -sal tends to exist only as a residual plural marker in -l/-r dialects. For example, in Standard Evenki, as in the Evenki dialects of the Amur basin and the Vivin dialect, use of -sal is limited to a small number of nouns (e.g. bajan “rich person”, pl. bajasal; ɲami:, “female reindeer”, pl. ɲami:sal or ɲami:səl; aβlan “field”, pl. aβlasal; sama:n “shaman”, pl. sama:sal).
- ^ 2005: Peter Metcalf, Anthropology: The Basics, box 7.3: “Shamanism”, page 132 (Routledge; ISBN 0415331196)
Note that the plural of shaman is shamans, not shamen.