An example of an avatar is an icon you use to represent you on an Internet forum.
- Hinduism a god appearing on earth in bodily form; incarnation of a god
- any incarnation or embodiment, as of a quality or concept in a person
Origin of avatarSanskrit avat?ra from ava-, down + base of tarati, (he) crosses over: see term
- The incarnation of a Hindu deity, especially Vishnu, in human or animal form.
- An embodiment or manifestation, as of a quality or concept: “Reagan was at his strongest as the avatar of American consensus, peddling a sunny normalcy, a happy-go-lucky and ultimately accommodating attitude” ( Gil Troy )
- A temporary manifestation or aspect of a continuing entity: occultism in its present avatar.
- An icon, graphic, or other image by which a person represents himself or herself on a communications network or in a virtual community, such as a chatroom or multiplayer game.
Origin of avatarSanskrit avatārah descent (of a deity from heaven), avatar ava down tarati he crosses ; see terə-2 in Indo-European roots.
Vishnu as Matsya (top) and as Varaha (bottom)
- In Hinduism the incarnation of a deity, particularly Vishnu.
- The physical embodiment of an idea or concept; a personification.
- (computing or gaming) A digital representation or handle of a person or being; often, it can take on any of various forms, as a participant chooses. i.e. 3D, animated, photo, sketch
1784, from Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) अवतार / اوتار (avatār), from Sanskrit अवतार (ava-tāra, “descent of a deity from a heaven”), a compound of अव (ava, “off, away, down”) and the vṛddhi-stem of the root √tṝ (“to cross”).
In computing use, saw some use in 1980s videos games – 1985 online role-playing game Habitat by Lucasfilm Games (today LucasArts), by Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer, later versions of the Ultima series (following religious use in 1985 Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar), and 1989 pen and paper role-playing game Shadowrun. Popularized by 1992 novel Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.
avatar - Computer Definition
A graphic identity that users select to represent themselves in a chat, instant messaging (IM) or multiplayer gaming session. An avatar is generally a caricature, rather than a realistic photo, and can be anything from a simple cartoon to a bizarre fantasy figure. However, images of real objects are also used. The term is a Sanskrit word that means the incarnation of a god on earth, and this usage of the term came from the gaming and 3D chat worlds. See VRML.