Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Sanskrit'
n : (Hinduism) an ancient language of India (the language of the
Vedas and of Hinduism); an official language of India
although it is now used only for religious purposes [syn:
- Sanskrit \San"skrit\, a.
Of or pertaining to Sanskrit; written in Sanskrit; as, a
Sanskrit dictionary or inscription.
- Sanskrit \San"skrit\, n. [Skr. Samsk[.r]ta the Sanskrit
language, literally, the perfect, polished, or classical
language, fr. samsk[.r]ta prepared, wrought, made, excellent,
perfect; sam together (akin to E. same) + k[.r]ta made. See
Same, Create.] [Written also Sanscrit.]
The ancient language of the Hindoos, long since obsolete in
vernacular use, but preserved to the present day as the
literary and sacred dialect of India. It is nearly allied to
the Persian, and to the principal languages of Europe,
classical and modern, and by its more perfect preservation of
the roots and forms of the primitive language from which they
are all descended, is a most important assistance in
determining their history and relations. Cf. Prakrit, and
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Sanskrit'
Sanskrit (संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam
Classical Sanskrit is the standard register as laid out in the grammar of Pāṇini, around the 4th century BCE. Its position in the cultures of Greater India is akin to that of Latin and Greek in Europe and it has significantly influenced most modern languages of the Indian subcontinent, particularly in India, Pakistan and Nepal.
The pre-Classical form of Sanskrit is known as Vedic Sanskrit, with the language of the Rigveda being the oldest and most archaic stage preserved, its oldest core dating back to as early as 1500 BCE.
The corpus of Sanskrit literature encompasses a rich tradition of poetry and drama as well as scientific, technical, philosophical and Hindu religious texts. Sanskrit continues to be widely used as a ceremonial language in Hindu religious rituals in the forms of hymns and mantras. Spoken Sanskrit is still in use in a few traditional institutions in India and there are many attempts at revival.[See more about Sanskrit at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]