1. Hinduism. an avatar of Vishnu and one of the most popular of Indian deities, who appears in the Bhagavad-Gita as the teacher of Arjuna.
  2. Informal. Hare Krishna.
  3. Formerly Kistna. a river in S India, flowing E from the Western Ghats to the Bay of Bengal. 800 miles (1290 km) long.
  4. a male given name.


  1. a river in S India, rising in the Western Ghats and flowing generally southeast to the Bay of Bengal. Length: 1300 km (800 miles)Also called: Kistna


  1. Hinduism the most celebrated of the Hindu deities, whose life story is told in the Mahabharata

eighth avatar of Vishnu, 1875, from Sanskrit krshnah, literally “the Black One,” from PIE *kers-no-, suffixed form of root *kers- “dark, dirty” (cf. Old Church Slavonic crunu, Russian coron, Serbo-Croatian crn, Czech cerny, Old Prussian krisnas “black,” Lithuanian kersas “black and white, variegated”).

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