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Alternative forms[edit]


1784,[1] borrowed from Hindi अवतार (avtār) or from Urdu اوتار(avatār), both borrowed from Sanskrit अवतार (ava-tāra, descent of a deity from a heaven), a compound of अव (ava, off, away, down) and the vṛddhi-stem of the root तरति (√tṝ, to cross).

In computing use, saw some use in 1980s videos games – 1985 online role-playing game Habitat by Lucasfilm Games (today LucasArts), by Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer,[2] later versions of the Ultima series (following religious use in 1985 Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar), and 1989 pen and paper role-playing game Shadowrun. Popularized by 1992 novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.[1]


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌæv.əˈtɑ/, /ˈæv.ə.tɑ/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈæv.ə.tɑɹ/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: av‧a‧tar


avatar (plural avatars)

  1. (Hinduism) the incarnation of a deity, particularly Vishnu.
  2. The physical embodiment of an idea or concept; a personification.
    • 1886, Robert Louis Stevenson, dedicatory letter to Kidnapped [contrasting the historical Alan Breac with his incarnation in the novel].
      And honest Alan, who was a grim fire-eater in his day, has in this new avatar no more desperate purpose than to steal some young gentleman's attention from his Ovid...
  3. (computing or video games) A digital representation of a person or being; often, it can take on any of various forms, as a participant chooses. e.g. 3D, animated, photo, sketch of a person or a person's alter ego, sometimes used in a virtual world or virtual chat room.
    • 1992 Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash
      The people are pieces of software called avatars. They are the audiovisual bodies that people use to communicate with each other in the Metaverse.
    • 2013 November 27, Roger Cohen, “The past in our future [print version: International Herald Tribune Magazine, 2013, p. 21]”, in The New York Times[1]:
      Devices now track and record our every move and, whether we like it or not, each one of us will bequeath to posterity a virtual avatar, a digital being whose calls, messages, transactions, loves and losses will live on in a vast, unregulated cyberspace. The afterlife has arrived, at least for our cyberbeings.


See also[edit]

Commons-logo.svg Avatar on Wikimedia Commons.Wikimedia Commons


  1. 1.0 1.1 avatar” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2019.
  2. ^ Morabito, Margaret. "Enter the Online World of LucasFilm." Run Aug. 1986: 24-28



From Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) अवतार (avtār) / اوتار(avatār), from Sanskrit अवतार (ava-tāra, descent of a deity from a heaven), a compound of अव (ava, off, away, down) and the vṛddhi-stem of the root तरति (√tṝ, to cross).



avatar m (plural avatars)

  1. (religion, hinduism) avatar
  2. (computing) avatar

Further reading[edit]



Italian Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia it

avatar m (invariable)

  1. avatar (all senses)




avatar m

  1. avatar



  • IPA(key): /aʋǎtaːr/
  • Hyphenation: a‧va‧tar


avàtār m (Cyrillic spelling ава̀та̄р)

  1. avatar




avatar m (plural avatares)

  1. avatar