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A.Word.A.Day--mahatma

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

mahatma (muh-HAT-muh) noun

1. In India and Tibet, one of a class of persons venerated for great knowledge and love of humanity.

2. Mahatma. Used as a title of respect for a person renowned for spirituality and high-mindedness.

[Sanskrit mahatma : maha-, great. See meg-. + atma, life, spirit.]

"How could our 'mahatma of mulch' Ketzel Levine excite such emotion."
Holiday Gift Ideas for Gardeners; Weekend Edition - Saturday (NPR); Dec 16, 1995.

"On 9 January, 1915, ... Gandhi landed in Bombay... Soon after..in a published letter, the poet Rabindranath Tagore conferred on him the title of 'Mahatma', of which the literal meaning is 'great soul'.
H.N. Brailsford, in H.S.L. Polak, 1949.

This week's theme: Loanwords from Hindi and Sanskrit

X-Bonus

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much of life. So aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. -Henry David Thoreau

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