(especially among certain tribal peoples) a person who acts as intermediary between the natural and supernatural worlds, using magic to cure illness, foretell the future, control spiritual forces, etc.
1698, "priest of the Ural-Altaic peoples," probably via Ger. Schamane, from Rus. shaman, from Tungus shaman, which is perhaps from Chinese sha men "Buddhist monk," from Prakrit samaya-, from Skt. sramana-s "Buddhist ascetic."