1. Hinduism Any of a group of deities that are endowed with great power and in later tradition are considered to represent aspects of the Godhead.
2. Buddhism Any of large, heterogeneous group of supernatural beings, including the deities that guard the four cardinal points and other inhabitants of planes of existence transcending the world of humans. Devas are not immortal, although they may have lifespans lasting billions of years and be exempt from human ills such as hunger and pain.
[Sanskrit devaḥ; see dyeu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.