Main definitions of naga in US English:

: Naga1naga2naga3

Naga1

nounPlural Nagas, Plural nagas

  • 1A member of a group of peoples living in or near the Naga Hills of Burma (Myanmar) and northeastern India.

    • ‘He also said ‘eighty per cent of the Nagas supported the peace process today‘.’
    • ‘With capable leadership and without missionary support, the Nagas and other tribal groups have produced outstanding leaders who helped indigenize the Christian gospel in a positive way.’
    • ‘The Nagas lived in mountainous north-east India on the Myanmar border.’
    • ‘We have seen it in India in the agreement between the Government and the Nagas.’
    • ‘Many Nagas are said now to speak broken Assamese and Hindi.’
  • 2Any of the Tibeto-Burman languages of the Naga.

    • ‘This seemed to gain some attention, as a few snarling words in Naga accompanied a warrior struggling out of bed, sword in hand.’

adjective

  • Relating to the Naga or their language.

    • ‘From the color of their sarongs and the way they wear their machetes in a shoulder scabbard, I know they are Naga tribesmen.’
    • ‘The Naga tribesmen I manage to speak to refuse to guide me.’
    • ‘While music may have always been part of Naga life, the state has recently witnessed a sudden growth of pop bands and folk music groups.’
    • ‘The typical Naga embroidery has been used on the long jackets that are embellished with leather straps and more sequence.’
    • ‘The talks with Naga elders may be fraught with tension but attempts are being made by both sides to keep the dialogue going.’

Origin

Perhaps from Sanskrit nagna ‘naked’ or naga ‘mountain’.

Pronunciation

Naga

/ˈnäɡə/

Main definitions of naga in US English:

: Naga1naga2naga3

naga2

nounPlural Nagas, Plural nagas

  • (in Indian mythology) a member of a semidivine race, part human, part cobra in form, associated with water and sometimes with mystical initiation.

    • ‘Specially pertinent to this period is the image of Buddha seated on the mythological, multi-headed serpent or naga.’
    • ‘Thus, the nagas, who in Buddhist mythology protected Buddha before his enlightenment by shooting down lightning bolts aimed at him, guard the sacred temple.’
    • ‘His canvasses have lustrous Buddhas, among nagas, dragons, animals and birds.’
    • ‘The naga turned and smiled, his golden-reptilian eyes locking with his.’

Origin

From Sanskrit nāga ‘serpent’.

Pronunciation

naga

/ˈnäɡə/

Main definitions of naga in US English:

: Naga1naga2naga3

naga3

nounPlural Nagas, Plural nagas

  • (in some Hindu sects) a naked wandering ascetic, in particular one belonging to a sect whose members carry arms and serve as mercenaries.

    • ‘The textiles of Indonesia have, across time, also incorporated and integrated Hindu's symbols such as the Garuda, the naga, the lotus, the elephant, the ‘mandala diagrams’ and so on.’
    • ‘Beyond that, there are devas, nagas, higher categories of devas such as Brahma or Shiva, and so on.’
    • ‘Buddha not only gave the teachings in human language but in the language of the gods and the nagas.’
    • ‘The totally naked sadus are called nagas, and they are the most militant of the sect.’

Origin

From Hindi nāgā ‘naked’.