From German Schamane, from Russian шаман (šamán), from Evenki шаман (šamán), itself possibly from Chinese sha men, 'Buddhist monk', from Prakrit (Pali) समन (samana), from Sanskrit श्रमण (śramaṇá, “ascetic, monk, devotee”), from श्रम (śráma, “fatigue, weariness, exhaustion; labor, toil etc.”).
- Rhymes: -ɑːmən
- Rhymes: -ɑːmən
NounShaman (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.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 “shaman, n. (and a.)” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary [2nd Ed.; 1989]
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 “shaman” listed in Merriam–Webster’s Online Dictionary (retrieved on the 19th day of September in 2008)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 “shaman” listed in The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language [4th Ed.; 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”, p103 (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.