Definitions

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

  • n. A male shaman or shamanistic healer, especially among Native American peoples.
  • n. A hawker of brews and potions among the audience in a medicine show.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Native American shamanistic healer.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. a person who professes to cure sickness, drive away evil spirits, and regulate the weather by the arts of magic; a shaman.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Among American Indians and other savage races, a man supposed to possess mysterious or supernatural powers: a name used in English to translate various native names.

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

  • n. a Native American shaman

Etymologies

Probably a calque of Ojibwe mashkikiiwinini ("doctor"), from mashkiki ("medicine") + inini ("man"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • He rose and hurried from the room, and his men followed, leaving the gully dwarf king and his blubbering medicine man behind.

    Father Swarat

  • Willow bark had been a traditional headache remedy since the dawn of Krynn-but the medicine man had assumed, correctly, that Gell MarBoreth didn't know the first thing about herbalism.

    Father Swarat

  • Lily Rowan had once paid a Park Avenue medicine man fifty bucks to tell her that goat milk would be good for her nerves, and while she was giving it a whirl I had sampled it a few times, so the liquid Meta Vukcic had served me was no great shock.

    The Black Mountain

  • Our medicine man cures the sick by the laying on of hands, and we have doctresses as well as doctors.

    Life Among The Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims

  • In New Caledonia the sterile woman buys from the medicine man some shapeless puppet, destined to share her couch and to exert its influence in favor of her pregnancy; in Brittany (Corré) a statue of Saint Quignole still exists, in front of which such women as are desirous of children are accustomed to strike their stomachs.

    Labor Among Primitive Peoples

  • They tell me that, over the great salt water, in your white man's big camping-ground named London, in far-off England, the medicine man hangs before his tepee door a scarlet lamp, so that all who are sick may see it, even in the darkness.

    The Shagganappi

  • The Oglala Sioux warrior and medicine man Black Elk1 had a life-changing ecstatic experience when he was nine years old and very sick.

    Experiencing the Next World Now

  • The physician is mistrusted and is only consulted in the most desperate cases; the medicine man is aware that the forceps of his white brother are more efficacious than the rattling of the tum-tum, and, actuated by that same professional jealousy which is occasionally observed in more civilized communities, ho uses his influence to malign the stranger, and glorify himself.

    Labor Among Primitive Peoples

  • That evening one of our doctors called for a council, and all the men gathered together in the council-tent to hear what their medicine man had to say, for we all believe our doctor is greater than any human being living.

    Life Among The Piutes: Their Wrongs and Claims

  • Anthropologist Peter Freuchen lived among the Eskimos for years and observed the angakok or local medicine man go into trances.1 Freuchen watched Eskimo children who played games choking each other until they lost consciousness.

    Experiencing the Next World Now

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