a member of any of various Muslim religious groups dedicated to a life of poverty and chastity: some dervishes practice whirling, chanting, etc. as religious acts
Origin of dervishTurkish dervish from Persian darv?sh, beggar
- A member of any of various Muslim ascetic orders, some of which perform whirling dances and vigorous chanting as acts of ecstatic devotion.
- One that possesses abundant, often frenzied energy: “[She] is a dervish of unfocused energy, an accident about to happen” ( Jane Gross )
Origin of dervishTurkish derviş mendicant from Persian darvēš from Middle Persian driyōš needy one, one who lives in holy mendicancy from Old Iranian (Avestan) drigu- Sanskrit adhriguh ( a divine epithet of unknown but favorable meaning ) perhaps a- not dhrigu- poor