Definition of Buddha in US English:


proper noun

often the Buddha
  • 1A title given to the founder of Buddhism, Siddartha Gautama (c.563–c.460 BC). Born a prince in what is now Nepal, he renounced wealth and family to become an ascetic, and after achieving enlightenment while meditating, taught all who came to learn from him.

    1. 1.1as noun a BuddhaBuddhism A person who has attained full enlightenment.
      • ‘Buddha triad is a group of Buddhas or a Buddha and Bodhisattvas.’
      • ‘So the king organized the meeting and, at the end, the earth opened up and all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas appeared and helped to drive away the Japanese.’
      • ‘A Buddha works so that others, too, may recognize sunyata, and may themselves become Buddhas.’
      • ‘All the Buddhas and bodhisattvas attained realization through first developing bodhicitta within themselves.’
      • ‘Chenrezig is the protector, since he is the embodiment of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas who are capable of providing such protection.’
      • ‘This is what a Buddha does - and we are all capable of being Buddhas, whether or not we are Buddhists.’
      • ‘Usually Bodhisattvas, not Buddhas, hold attribute objects.’
      • ‘To follow in the Buddhas' footsteps to nirvana requires that one be shown the way, specifically how to tread the Eightfold Noble Path.’
      • ‘The world continues to wait for more and more Buddhas, for Buddha is not a person but is a state of being.’
      • ‘In 531 BC, after a life of searching, Sakyamuni attained the state of Nirvana and became a Buddha.’
      • ‘The ultimate aim of Buddhism is to become a Buddha (enlightened).’
      • ‘Indeed, the distinction between a Buddha and an advanced bodhisattva becomes extremely blurred.’
      • ‘Even the arahats in the Buddhas' time continued to listen to the Dhamma.’
      • ‘More specifically, this and other works, such as Unfurl, refer to mudras, the signs and gestures made with hands and fingers that are said to symbolize the enlightenment and vows of Buddhas and bodhisattvas.’
      • ‘A Bodhisattva is a person who's not yet become a Buddha but is on the way.’
      • ‘Bodhisattvas are sometimes adorned with jewelry and crowns while Buddhas generally are not.’
      • ‘Second, the stra teaches that a Buddha, upon attaining nirva, does not go into extinction, but abides in the world for aeons out of compassion for those still in need of teaching.’
      • ‘In the Mahyna Buddhist tradition, Gautama Buddha was preceded by other Buddhas in other ages.’
      • ‘You see, whenever a Buddha, a fully enlightened soul, sets his foot on the indra-keela of a city with a firm purpose in mind, miracles occur, it is said.’
      • ‘The Buddhas and arhats are in a state of tremendous tranquility and have very dignified, well composed outlooks.’
    2. 1.2 A statue or picture of the Buddha.
      • ‘The ancient Buddhas were also covered in bright paintings and surrounded by pictures of other deities.’
      • ‘Their house is full of Buddhas and prayer cymbals; there is usually pan-pipe music playing in the background and incense wafting through the house.’
      • ‘These include various carved bricks, artefacts, earthenware objects, metal ornaments, funeral urns, and stone sculptures, especially Buddhas.’
      • ‘The Wat Pho temple is known for its 46 meter long statue of reclining Buddha and the largest collection of Buddhas in the country.’
      • ‘On the first four terraces, the traditional Buddhas of the various directions are represented.’
      • ‘Was there any way for the world community to act to save those irreplaceable, monumental Buddhas?’
      • ‘At the same time, the traditional Chinese courtyard house layout, the stone statues of Buddhas and Chinese lions and the plum blossom decor show off a deeply Eastern sensibility.’
      • ‘There are Buddhas and guardians carved on the face of the stone.’
      • ‘The Buddhas I saw in corners were not serene or reassuring presences, as they might be in other parts of Asia.’
      • ‘The floor is covered in a crush of Buddhas and statues of Hindu gods.’
      • ‘Travelling along the corridor to the Buddhism area, our eyes were blinded by an underground palace with thousands of gold sculptured Buddhas.’
      • ‘The seven stars pictured as Buddhas demonstrate the incorporation of originally Shaman concepts into Korean Buddhism.’
      • ‘Oriental vases, mini-laughing Buddhas, porcelain crafted idols and many more, stood in line, waiting for us to buy them.’
      • ‘Some 1,000 statues of Buddhas, some dating back to the West Jin Dynasty, greet you in the two-hectare garden.’
      • ‘Halls for the secondary Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are often named according to the statue that they house.’
      • ‘The three Buddhas represent some of the main features of Buddhism.’
      • ‘In the mid-Fifth Century, during the Gupta period, statues of Buddhas were added to the stupa.’
      • ‘These rites are well known for statues of Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and other deities, and in 1533 Jofu composed a verse for the eye opening of the main image of Sakyamuni at Korin'in.’
      • ‘In front of the paintings, there are 340 little white Buddhas representing the innumerable beings in all places in all world systems.’
      • ‘The pagoda housed two or four Buddha statues (four Buddhas would be the standard iconographic grouping).’


Sanskrit, literally ‘enlightened’, past participle of budh ‘know’.