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Word of the Day
Friday, February 20, 2004

Definitions for avatar

  1. The incarnation of a deity -- chiefly associated in Hinduism with the incarnations of Vishnu.
  2. An embodiment, as of a quality, concept, philosophy, or tradition; an archetype.
  3. A temporary manifestation or aspect of a continuing entity.

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Citations for avatar
In 1517, the year of their first contact, the Aztecs took the Spaniards to be avatars of Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent, god of learning and of wind. Paul Theroux, Fresh Air Fiend
People . . . believe he was some sort of avatar of peace and love, the ultimate hippie. Edna Gundersen, USA Today
Origin of avatar
1775-1785
Avatar is from Sanskrit avatara, "descent" (of a deity from heaven), from avatarati, "he descends," from ava-, "down" + tarati, "he crosses, he passes over."