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Alternative forms[edit]


brahmin +‎ -ism. Introduced in 1816 as Brahmenism by George S. Faber (OED).

Proper noun[edit]


  1. The principles and religious practice of the Brahmins, aspects of Hinduism as practiced by the Brahmin caste of India.
  2. Historical Vedic ritualism, contrasted with Shramana traditions.
    • 1972, Cromwell Crawford, review of L. M. Joshi, Brahmanism, Buddhism and Hinduism, Philosophy East and West:
      Alongside Brahmanism was the non-Aryan Shramanic culture with its roots going back to prehistoric times.
  3. The conduct or attitudes ascribed to the social or cultural elite within a given society.
    • July 9, 1919, letter from T.S. Eliot to John Quinn :
      I am sorry to say that I have found it uphill and exasperating work trying to impose Joyce on such “intellectual” people, or people whose opinion carries weight as I know, in London. [...] There is a strong body of critical Brahminism, destructive and conservative in temper, which will not have Joyce.