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One of an ancient sect of Hindu ascetics who wore little or no clothing and were devoted to mystical contemplation.

[Middle English gumnosophist, from sing. of Latin gymnosophistae, from Greek gumnosophistai : gumnos, naked; see nogw- in Indo-European roots + sophistēs, expert; see sophist.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(dʒɪmˈnɒsəfɪst) or


(Philosophy) one of a sect of naked Indian ascetics who regarded food or clothing as detrimental to purity of thought
[C16: from Latin gymnosophistae, from Greek gumnosophistai naked philosophers]
gymˈnosophy n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(dʒɪmˈnɒs ə fɪst)

a member of an ascetic sect, esp. in ancient India, whose adherents wore little or no clothing.
[1400–50; late Middle English < Latin gymnosophistae < Greek gymnosophistaí naked philosophers. See gymno-, sophist]
gym•nos′o•phy, n.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gymnosophist - member of a Hindu sect practicing gymnosophy (especially nudism)
philosopher - a specialist in philosophy
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