Dervish Der"vish, Dervise Der"vise, Dervis Der"vis, n. [Per. derw[=e]sch, fr. OPer. derew to beg, ask alms: cf. F. derviche.] 1. A Turkish or Persian monk, especially one who professes extreme poverty and leads an austere life. [1913 Webster]

2. One of the fanatical followers of the Mahdi, in the Sudan, in the 1880's. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

3. in modern times, a member of an ascetic Mohammedan sect notable for its devotional exercises, which include energetic chanting or shouting and rhythmic bodily movement, such as whirling, leading to a trance-like state or ecstasy. From these exercises the phrase whirling dervish is derived. [PJC]

4. figuratively, a person who whirls or engages in frenzied activity reminiscent of the dervish[3] dancing. [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • dervish — 1580s, from Turk. dervish, from Pers. darvesh, darvish beggar, poor, hence religious mendicant; equivalent of Arabic faqir (Cf. FAKIR (Cf. fakir)). The whirling dervishes are just one order among many. Originally dervis; modern spelling is from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • dervish — [dʉr′vish] n. [Turk dervish < Pers darvēsh, beggar] a member of any of various Muslim religious groups dedicated to a life of poverty and chastity: some dervishes practice whirling, chanting, etc. as religious acts …   English World dictionary

  • dervish — ► NOUN ▪ a member of a Muslim fraternity vowed to poverty and known for their wild rituals. ORIGIN Persian, religious beggar , also poor …   English terms dictionary

  • Dervish — For other uses, see Dervish (disambiguation). An Ottoman Dervish in Istanbul …   Wikipedia

  • Dervish — У этого термина существуют и другие значения, см. Дервиш (значения). Dervish …   Википедия

  • dervish — /ˈdɜvɪʃ / (say dervish) noun a member of any of various Muslim ascetic orders, some of which carry on ecstatic observances, such as violent dancing and pirouetting (dancing dervish, spinning dervish or whirling dervish) or vociferous chanting or… …   Australian English dictionary

  • dervish — /derr vish/, n. a member of any of various Muslim ascetic orders, as the Sufis, some of which carry on ecstatic observances, such as energetic dancing and whirling or vociferous chanting or shouting. [1575 85; < Turk < Pers darvish poor man,… …   Universalium

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