Mahatma Ma*hat"ma, n. [Skr. mah[=a]tman, lit., great-souled, wise.] (Theosophy) One of a class of sages, or ``adepts,'' reputed to have knowledge and powers of a higher order than those of ordinary men.

Note: The title was popularly applied to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in tribute to his wisdom, though not implying any supernatural powers; he is thus often referred to as Mahatma Ghandi or The Mahatma. He was most noted for his advocacy of non-violence in resisting oppression, and played an important role in convincing Great Britain to grant independence to India and Pakistan. -- {Ma*hat"ma*ism}, n. [Webster 1913 Suppl. +PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • mahatma — mahatmaism, n. /meuh haht meuh, hat /, n. (sometimes cap.) 1. a Brahman sage. 2. (esp. in India) a person who is held in the highest esteem for wisdom and saintliness. 3. (in Theosophy) a great sage who has renounced further spiritual development …   Universalium

  • mahatma — /məˈhætmə/ (say muh hatmuh) noun 1. Hinduism a. an adept in Brahmanism. b. a highly esteemed wise and saintly leader. c. (a title given to a deeply spiritual person): Mahatma Gandhi. 2. Theosophy one of a class of reputed beings with… …   Australian English dictionary

  • mahatma —   n. wise man; person of noble intellect.    ♦ mahatmaism, n …   Dictionary of difficult words

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