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[shah-muh-niz-uh m, shey-, sham-uh-] /ˈʃɑ məˌnɪz əm, ˈʃeɪ-, ˈʃæm ə-/
the animistic religion of northern Asia, embracing a belief in powerful spirits that can be influenced only by shamans.
any similar religion.
Origin of shamanism
1770-80; shaman + -ism
Related forms
shamanist, noun, adjective
shamanistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for shamanism
  • It's has information about the placebo effect and it's use in shamanism and how it might be used in modern medicine.
  • They have invited me down to see their operations and to witness the plant shamanism for myself.
  • Hence the parallel emergence of shamanism throughout the prehistoric world.
  • shamanism--traditional spirit worship--is still practiced.
  • shamanism, colonialism, and the wild man a study in terror and healing.
British Dictionary definitions for shamanism


the religion of certain peoples of northern Asia, based on the belief that the world is pervaded by good and evil spirits who can be influenced or controlled only by the shamans
any similar religion involving forms of spiritualism
Derived Forms
shamanist, noun, adjective
shamanistic, adjective
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 shamanism

1780, from shaman + -ism. Related: Shamanistic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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