Definition of pandit in English:



  • 1A Hindu scholar learned in Sanskrit and Hindu philosophy and religion, typically also a practising priest.

    ‘the pandit chants the marriage mantras’
    [as title] ‘Pandit Misir’
    • ‘The Muslims fear the homecoming of the pandits might be accompanied by some legislative guarantees, which can deprive them of the such holdings.’
    • ‘Because of what some pandits have been saying - that the year 2000 is inauspicious for marriages as it has three ‘shunya’ in its number.’
    • ‘After this was satisfactorily accomplished the pandit joined our hands and bid me and my future husband to rise so that we could perform the required walk around the fire.’
    • ‘The pundit was obviously offended by the shoes being carried in the left hand.’
    • ‘For twelve years, with the help of a team of Hindu pandits and Sanskrit scholars in Banaras, India, he struggled to bring the ancient texts into clear, accurate and inspired English.’
    • ‘The royal hall was full with expectations, the learned pundits and intellectuals were eager to know the outcome of the debate.’
    • ‘Even the more skilled Hindu pundits have left to minister to communities in North America.’
    • ‘The sunlight shone across us as we repeated the pundit's chants.’
    • ‘The Sanskrit pandits hired to translate and sanction this new interpretation of customary laws created a curious Anglo-Brahmanical hybrid.’
    intellectual, scholar, sage, philosopher, thinker, learned person, wise person, solomon
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Indian A wise man or teacher.
      [as title] ‘Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya’
      • ‘Also we have won under Ganguly's captaincy what the cricket pandits term as the GREATEST SERIES EVER against Australia at home in 2001.’
    2. 1.2Indian A talented musician (used as a respectful title or form of address)
      ‘Panditji played the refrain’
      • ‘While people and pundits of other states got either one classical form or nothing to pamper and nourish, Keralites are blessed with a few.’
      • ‘A BBC presenter introduced pundit Ravi Shankar as the most famous living Indian on earth.’
      • ‘But a US-based Kashmiri musician is creating ripples with a rap number that reflects the struggles and tears of displaced Kashmiri Pandits.’
      • ‘Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar was born at Kurundwad in Maharashtra in the year 1872 in a family of Kirtankars.’


Mid 17th century: from Sanskrit paṇḍita learned man, use as noun of paṇḍita learned, skilled; the same word as pundit.