Definition of pandit in English:



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

    ‘the pandit chants the marriage mantras’
    [as title] ‘Pandit Misir’
    • ‘The Sanskrit pandits hired to translate and sanction this new interpretation of customary laws created a curious Anglo-Brahmanical hybrid.’
    • ‘The sunlight shone across us as we repeated the pundit's chants.’
    • ‘Even the more skilled Hindu pundits have left to minister to communities in North America.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Because of what some pandits have been saying - that the year 2000 is inauspicious for marriages as it has three ‘shunya’ in its number.’
    • ‘The royal hall was full with expectations, the learned pundits and intellectuals were eager to know the outcome of the debate.’
    • ‘The pundit was obviously offended by the shoes being carried in the left hand.’
    • ‘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 Muslims fear the homecoming of the pandits might be accompanied by some legislative guarantees, which can deprive them of the such holdings.’
    intellectual, scholar, sage, philosopher, thinker, learned person, wise person, solomon
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Indian A wise man or teacher.
      • ‘Also we have won under Ganguly's captaincy what the cricket pandits term as the GREATEST SERIES EVER against Australia at home in 2001.’
      educator, tutor, instructor, pedagogue, schoolteacher, schoolmaster, schoolmistress, master, mistress, governess, educationalist, educationist
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Indian A talented musician (used as a respectful title or form of address)
      • ‘But a US-based Kashmiri musician is creating ripples with a rap number that reflects the struggles and tears of displaced Kashmiri Pandits.’
      • ‘A BBC presenter introduced pundit Ravi Shankar as the most famous living Indian on earth.’
      • ‘Pandit Vishnu Digambar Paluskar was born at Kurundwad in Maharashtra in the year 1872 in a family of Kirtankars.’
      • ‘While people and pundits of other states got either one classical form or nothing to pamper and nourish, Keralites are blessed with a few.’


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