sutra

sutra

[soo-truh]
noun
1.
Hinduism. a collection of aphorisms relating to some aspect of the conduct of life.
2.
Pali sutta [soot-uh] . Buddhism. any of the sermons of Buddha.
3.
one of the approximately 4000 rules or aphorisms that constitute Panini's grammar of Sanskrit.

Origin:
1795–1805; < Sanskrit sūtra

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sutra (ˈsuːtrə)
 
n
1.  Hinduism Sanskrit sayings or collections of sayings on Vedic doctrine dating from about 200 ad onwards
2.  (modifier) Hinduism
 a.  of or relating to the last of the Vedic literary periods, from about 500 to 100 bc: the sutra period
 b.  of or relating to the sutras or compilations of sutras of about 200 ad onwards
3.  Buddhism collections of dialogues and discourses of classic Mahayana Buddhism dating from the 2nd to the 6th centuries a.d
 
[C19: from Sanskrit: list of rules]

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Word Origin & History

Sutra
"series of aphorisms," 1801, from Skt. sutram "rule," lit. "string, thread" (as a measure of straightness), from sivyati "sew;" cognate with L. suere "to sew" (see sew). Applied to rules of grammar, law, philosophy, etc., along with their commentaries.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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