noun Hinduism, Buddhism.
- essential quality or character, as of the cosmos or one’s own nature.
- conformity to religious law, custom, duty, or one’s own quality or character.
- law, especially religious law.
- the doctrine or teaching of the Buddha.
- Buddhism a variant of dharma
- Hinduism social custom regarded as a religious and moral duty
- the essential principle of the cosmos; natural law
- conduct that conforms with this
- Buddhism ideal truth as set forth in the teaching of Buddha
1796, in secular sense, “caste custom, right behavior;” in Buddhism and Hinduism, “moral law,” from Sanskrit, “law, right, justice,” related to dharayati “holds,” and cognate with Latin firmus, all from PIE root *dher- (2) “to hold firmly, support” (see firm (adj.)).