follow Dictionary.com

8 Wintry Words to Defrost Your Vocabulary

avatar

[av-uh-tahr, av-uh-tahr] /ˈæv əˌtɑr, ˌæv əˈtɑr/
noun
1.
Hindu Mythology. the descent of a deity to the earth in an incarnate form or some manifest shape; the incarnation of a god.
2.
an embodiment or personification, as of a principle, attitude, or view of life.
3.
Digital Technology. a graphical image that represents a person, as on the Internet.
4.
Also called avatar mouse, mouse avatar. a mouse that is implanted with cells or tissue freshly extracted from a human being, as to test drug therapies for an individual patient or to study a disease process:
Researchers transplanted samples of the patient’s tumor into specially bred avatars.
5.
(in science fiction) a hybrid creature, composed of human and alien DNA and remotely controlled by the mind of a genetically matched human being.
Origin
1775-1785
1775-85; < Sanskrit avatāra a passing down, equivalent to ava down + -tāra a passing over
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for mouse avatar

avatar

/ˈævəˌtɑː/
noun
1.
(Hinduism) the manifestation of a deity, notably Vishnu, in human, superhuman, or animal form
2.
a visible manifestation or embodiment of an abstract concept; archetype
3.
a movable image that represents a person in a virtual reality environment or in cyberspace
Word Origin
C18: from Sanskrit avatāra a going down, from avatarati he descends, from ava down + tarati he passes over
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for mouse avatar

avatar

n.

1784, "descent of a Hindu deity," from Sanskrit avatarana "descent" (of a deity to the earth in incarnate form), from ava- "down" + base of tarati "(he) crosses over," from PIE root *tere- "to cross over" (see through). In computer use, it seems to trace to the novel "Snowcrash" (1992) by Neal Stephenson.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
mouse avatar in Culture
avatar [(av-uh-tahr)]

In Hinduism, a god made visibly present, especially in a human form. The Buddha is considered an avatar of the god Vishnu.

Note: By extension, an “avatar” is any new embodiment of an old idea.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for avatar

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for mouse

7
9
Scrabble Words With Friends