Dalai-lama definition

dälī lämə
The traditional temporal head of the dominant sect of Buddhism in Tibet and Mongolia, revered by Tibetan Buddhists as the living incarnation of the bodhisattva of compassion.
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The traditional high priest of Lamaism.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
dalai-lama
Plural:
dalai-lamas

Origin of dalai-lama

  • Tibetan Mongolian dalai ocean Tibetan bla-ma monk (so called because he is known as the ocean of compassion) lama

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