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or Hindooism

[hin-doo-iz-uh m] /ˈhɪn duˌɪz əm/
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.
Origin of Hinduism
1820-30; Hindu + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Hinduism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • With the large influx into India of Christian ideas it was to be expected that some impression would be made on Hinduism.

    Two Old Faiths J. Murray Mitchell and William Muir
  • Yes, it is true; this is Hinduism—not in theory of course, but in practice.

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • In this respect Mahomedan domination has helped to strengthen the forces of resistance inherent to Hinduism.

    India, Old and New Sir Valentine Chirol
  • There cannot be a doubt that Hinduism is greatly strengthened by these melas.

  • It is the adherence to certain practices—rites and ceremonies—that Hinduism imperatively demands.

    India and the Indians Edward F. Elwin
British Dictionary definitions for Hinduism


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

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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