Definition of Kshatriya in US English:



  • A member of the second of the four great Hindu castes, the military caste. The traditional function of the Kshatriyas is to protect society by fighting in wartime and governing in peacetime.

    • ‘A long time ago, most Kshatriyas and Vaishyas ceased to perform the initiation ceremony in its full form.’
    • ‘Sharma said ‘All the denominations of Kshatriyas had to learn some craft as supplementary activity during peace time.’’
    • ‘After all Parashurama, who is credited with annihilating generations of Kshatriyas, is still considered as one of the avatars.’
    • ‘The Kshatriya must use power to protect the rights of the weak, for that is his dharma, the truth of his nature.’
    • ‘In 1674, Shivaji elevated himself to kingship and in an elaborate ceremony in Hindu tradition proclaimed himself as a true Kshatriya.’


Late 18th century: from Sanskrit kṣatriya, from kṣhatra ‘rule, authority’.