U·pan·i·shad (-pănə-shăd′, -pänĭ-shäd′)
Any of a group of philosophical treatises contributing to the theology of ancient Hinduism, elaborating on the earlier Vedas.
[Sanskrit upaniṣat, upaniṣad- : upa, under, near; see upo in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + ni, down + sīdati, sad-, he sits (probably from the fact that students would sit at their teacher's feet while listening to instruction); see sed- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.