Borrowing from German Schamane, from Russian шама́н (šamán), from Evenki шама̄н (şamān), сама̄н (samān). The Evenki word is possibly derived from the root ша- ("to know"); or else a loanword from Tocharian B ṣamāne (“monk”) or Chinese 沙門 (shāmén, “Buddhist monk”), from Pali samaṇa from Sanskrit श्रमण (śramaṇa, “ascetic, monk, devotee”), from श्रम (śrama, “weariness, exhaustion; labor, toil; etc.”), which would make this a doublet of Sramana.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈʃɑːmən/, /ˈʃæmən/
- Rhymes: -ɑːmən, -æmən
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈʃɑːmən/, /ˈʃeɪmən/, /ʃəˈmɑːn/
- Rhymes: -ɑːmən, -eɪmən, -ɑːn
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.
- 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.
- “shaman” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, Dictionary.com, LLC, 1995–.
- ^ “shaman” in the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996–.
- ^ Mihály, Hoppál. Sámánok Eurázsiában (Budapest: Akadémiai K., 2005), 15
- Fortson, Benjamin W. (2010) Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, second edition, Oxford: Blackwell
- “shaman, n. (and a.)” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)
- “shaman” listed in Merriam–Webster’s Online Dictionary (retrieved on 19 September 2008)
- “shaman” listed in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition (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”, page 103 (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.