Definition of Rinpoche in US English:



  • (in Tibetan Buddhism) an incarnate lama or highly respected religious teacher (often used as an honorific title).

    • ‘These masters, known as ‘Rinpoches’, are at the heart of Tibetan Buddhist culture.’
    • ‘Like the Tibetan Rinpoches say: Treat your own mind with loving kindness, then you will be gentle with others.’
    • ‘Improving my life by contemplating my death was not an enticing prospect, but I found myself inspired by Rinpoche's tales of his encounters with the spiritual masters of Tibetan Buddhism.’
    • ‘The Rinpoche's arrival even caught me, the Minister for the Department of Religion and Culture, by surprise.’
    • ‘According to his uncle, Lama Karma Samten, Rinpoche's old life in New Zealand was that of a normal child.’
    • ‘A 20-year old Tibetan Rinpoche, or a recognized reincarnated Buddhist lama, cannot leave the country because of compulsory military service.’
    • ‘If the lama is a high Rinpoche or your own teacher, it is customary to prostrate three times upon arriving and once when leaving.’
    • ‘Through a translator Rinpoche spoke about the purpose of his visit to Darwin.’
    • ‘She meets the Rinpoche, who illuminates and exalts her small and insignificant life.’


Tibetan, literally ‘precious jewel’.