Avatar definition

ăvə-tär
Frequency:
(hinduism) A god appearing on earth in bodily form; incarnation of a god.
noun
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The incarnation of a Hindu deity, especially Vishnu, in human or animal form.
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Any incarnation or embodiment, as of a quality or concept in a person.
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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.
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The definition of an avatar is something visual used to represent non-visual concepts or ideas, or is an image that is used to represent a person in the virtual world of the Internet and computers.

An example of an avatar is an icon you use to represent you on an Internet forum.

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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.
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An embodiment or manifestation, as of a quality or concept.
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In Hinduism the incarnation of a deity, particularly Vishnu.
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The physical embodiment of an idea or concept; a personification.
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A temporary manifestation or aspect of a continuing entity.

Occultism in its present avatar.

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(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.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
avatar
Plural:
avatars

Origin of avatar

  • Sanskrit avatāraḥ descent (of a deity from heaven), avatar ava down tarati he crosses terə-2 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary

  • 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”).

    From Wiktionary