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[uh-him-sah, uh-hing-] /əˈhɪm sɑ, əˈhɪŋ-/
noun, Hinduism.
the principle of noninjury to living beings.
Origin of ahimsa
1870-75; < Sanskrit, equivalent to a- not, without (cognate with a-6) + hiṁsā injury, akin to hánti (he) slays, Greek phónos murder Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for ahimsa
Historical Examples
  • An opportune memory came to me of one of Patanjali's yoga aphorisms-that on ahimsa (harmlessness).

    Autobiography of a YOGI Paramhansa Yogananda
  • By birth I am a Vaishnavite, and was taught ahimsa in my childhood.

  • The Wardha mosquitoes don't know a thing about ahimsa, 44-6 Swamiji!

    Autobiography of a YOGI Paramhansa Yogananda
  • It is not written that a follower of the religion of ahimsa (non-killing) may kill a fellow-man.

    Indian Home Rule M. K. Gandhi
  • ahimsa requires deliberate self-suffering, not a deliberate injuring of the supposed wrong-doer.

  • It is firmly based on the Hindu idea of ahimsa, and hence avoids physical violence.

    Introduction to Non-Violence Theodore Paullin
  • A man cannot then practice ahimsa and be a coward at the same time.

  • In its positive form, ahimsa means the largest love, the greatest charity.

  • Generally speaking, we may observe that many Hindus partake of meat and are not, therefore, followers of ahimsa.

    Indian Home Rule M. K. Gandhi
  • ahimsa truly understood is in my humble opinion a panacea for all evils mundane and extra-mundane.

British Dictionary definitions for ahimsa


(in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jainist philosophy) the law of reverence for, and nonviolence to, every form of life
Word Origin
Sanskrit, from a-1 + himsā injury
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 ahimsa

1875, from Sanskrit ahimsa, from a "without" + himsa "injury."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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