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Definition of "dervish" [der•vish]

  • A member of any of various Muslim ascetic orders, some of which perform whirling dances and vigorous chanting as acts of ecstatic devotion. (noun)
  • One that possesses abundant, often frenzied energy: "[She] is a dervish of unfocused energy, an accident about to happen” ( Jane Gross). (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "dervish" in a sentence
  • "Although the word dervish is itself a Perso-Arab-Turkic word, the whirling dervishes did not come into existence until the 1200s in Konya, Turkey, where Jalaluddin Rumi, a Sufi mystic who produced some of the world's most enchanting poetry and literature, came to study and teach."
  • "Moses accordingly prayed and departed but returning a few days afterwards he saw that the dervish was a prisoner and surrounded by a crowd of people."
  • "One of the men attacked by the dervish was a native non-commissioned officer."