Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Hinduism & Buddhism The principle or law that orders the universe.
  • n. Hinduism & Buddhism Individual conduct in conformity with this principle.
  • n. Hinduism & Buddhism The essential function or nature of a thing.
  • n. Hinduism Individual obligation with respect to caste, social custom, civil law, and sacred law.
  • n. Buddhism The body of teachings expounded by the Buddha.
  • n. Buddhism Knowledge of or duty to undertake conduct set forth by the Buddha as a way to enlightenment.
  • n. Buddhism One of the basic, minute elements from which all things are made.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the principle that orders the universe; one's conduct in conformity with such a principle
  • n. one's obligation in respect to one's position in society
  • n. the teachings of the Buddha as one's personal path to enlightenment
  • n. the teachings of the Buddha as a practice to be promulgated and taught.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Established order, usage, custom, rule, duty, virtue, right, law, etc. In Buddhism, the law; the canon. Also dhurma.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. basic principles of the cosmos; also: an ancient sage in Hindu mythology worshipped as a god by some lower castes

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Sanskrit dharmaḥ, statute, law; see dher- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Sanskrit धर्म (dhárma, "that which upholds or supports").

Examples

Comments

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  • "Presuming that the ruler will issue written orders to his subordinates, it lists 'the characteristics of a good edict' and 'the defects' of bad edicts. It also gives the sources of law as dharma (a Sanskrit term usually understood as meaning correct conduct according to law or custom, but sometimes specifically indicating the teachings of Buddha), evidence, custom, and royal edicts. Since the royal edicts are assumed to coincide with dharma, they take precedence over the other sources of law."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 47

    December 30, 2016