Mahayana definitions

mä'hə-yä'nə
One of the major schools of Buddhism, traditionally active in much of Nepal, Tibet, and East Asia and emphasizing compassion and the possibility of universal salvation.
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A major movement or school in Buddhism: it emphasizes acts of virtue and compassion rather than asceticism and contemplation.
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Origin of mahayana

Sanskrit Mahāyānam greater vehicle (as contrasted with Hīnayānam lesser vehicle Hinayana) mahā- great meg- in Indo-European roots yānam vehicle ei- in Indo-European roots