sha·man (shämən, shā-)
n. pl. sha·mans
A member of certain traditional societies, especially of northern Asia and of North and South America, who acts as a medium between the visible world and an invisible spirit world and who practices magic or sorcery for purposes of healing, divination, and control over natural events.
[Russian, from Evenki šaman, Buddhist monk, shaman, perhaps from Tocharian B ṣamāne, monk, from Prakrit (dialect of documents from the ancient city of Niya in the Taklimakan) ṣamana, from Sanskrit śramaṇaḥ, from śramaḥ, religious exercise, from śramati, he toils, practices austerity.]
sha·manic (shə-mănĭk) adj.
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