One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in South Asia) a revered person regarded with love and respect; a holy person or sage.
wise man, wise woman, learned man, learned woman, man of letters, woman of letters, philosopher, scholar, thinker, savant, solomon, nestor, solonView synonyms
- ‘There have been great saints and mahatmas in the past, who replied thus even to emperors and monarchs.’
- ‘Those whose actions show them to be self-realized are often described as mahatmas or great selves.’
- ‘I am only repeating what saints and mahatmas have said in the past.’
- ‘India is the birthplace of Hinduism as well as Buddhism, motherland of Sikhs and Jains, the abode of more rishis, sadhus, mahatmas, and maharishis than any place on earth.’
- ‘He resolves ‘to follow the mahatma's call ’, but chooses some unorthodox varieties of Gandhian sacrifice and civil disobedience.’
- 1.1the Mahatma Mahatma Gandhi.
- ‘However, he was spellbound by the mahatma and remained personally loyal to him.’
- ‘Since the Mahatma uttered those words, world population has doubled to six billion - an annual increase of 90 million people to house and feed!’
- ‘A life size statue of the Mahatma provides the opportunity for citizens and the world to reflect and learn about both apostles of nonviolence in the same place.’
- ‘The Mahatma, a clean man to begin with, hasn't even worn his sandals in more than 50 years.’
- 1.2 (in some forms of theosophy) a person in India or Tibet said to have preternatural powers.
From Sanskrit mahātman, from mahā ‘great’ + ātman ‘soul’.
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