Theravada meaning

thĕrə-vädə
A conservative branch of Buddhism that adheres to Pali scriptures and the nontheistic ideal of self-purification to nirvana and is dominant in Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.
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A major form of Hinayana Buddhism, which emphasizes asceticism, contemplation, and the monastic life.
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Origin of theravada

  • Pali theravāda thera an elder (from Sanskrit sthaviraḥ old man) (from sthavira- old, venerable stā- in Indo-European roots) vāda doctrine (from Sanskrit vādaḥ statement, doctrine wed-2 in Indo-European roots)

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