- in traditional Hawaiian society, a person with specialized knowledge of ritual, agriculture, navigation, sorcery, etc.
- Slang any person or thing having larger-than-life power, authority, or repute: a hyperbolic and humorous usageusually in the phrase the big kahuna
Origin of kahunaHawaiian
(plural kahunas or kahuna)
Borrowed from Hawaiian word kahuna (“a shaman or wizard”).