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Hinduism

[hin-doo-iz-uh m] /ˈhɪn duˌɪz əm/
noun
1.
the common religion of India, based upon the religion of the original Aryan settlers as expounded and evolved in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita, etc., having an extremely diversified character with many schools of philosophy and theology, many popular cults, and a large pantheon symbolizing the many attributes of a single god. Buddhism and Jainism are outside the Hindu tradition but are regarded as related religions.
Also, Hindooism.
Origin
1820-1830
1820-30; Hindu + -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Hinduism

Hinduism

/ˈhɪndʊˌɪzəm/
noun
1.
the complex of beliefs, values, and customs comprising the dominant religion of India, characterized by the worship of many gods, including Brahma as supreme being, a caste system, belief in reincarnation, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Hinduism
n.

blanket term for "polytheism of India," 1829, from Hindu + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Hinduism in Culture

Hinduism definition


A religion of India that emphasizes freedom from the material world through purification of desires and elimination of personal identity. Hindu beliefs include reincarnation. (See Brahmins, pariah, Vishnu, and yoga.)

Note: Traditionally, Hinduism was linked to the caste system — a division of Indian society into several rigid groups, with members of a higher caste holding power over those of a lower.
Note: The sacred writings of Hinduism include the Vedas (which contain the Upanishads) and the Bhagavad Gita.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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