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

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

dhar′mic adj.


1. (Hinduism) Hinduism social custom regarded as a religious and moral duty
2. (Hinduism) Hinduism
a. the essential principle of the cosmos; natural law
b. conduct that conforms with this
3. (Buddhism) Buddhism ideal truth as set forth in the teaching of Buddha
[Sanskrit: habit, usage, law, from dhārayati he holds]


(ˈdɑr mə, ˈdʌr-)

1. (in Hinduism and Buddhism)
a. conformity to religious law, custom, duty, or to one's own character.
b. the essential nature of the universe or one's own character.
2. the doctrine or teaching of the Buddha.
[1790–1800; < Skt: custom, duty, akin to dhārayati holds, maintains]
dhar′mic, adj.


1. Saving truth. The Buddha’s message of how to overcome suffering.
2. Moral and religious duty, or the right way of living.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.dharma - basic principles of the cosmosDharma - basic principles of the cosmos; also: an ancient sage in Hindu mythology worshipped as a god by some lower castes;
Hindu deity - a deity worshipped by the Hindus
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