Result from Foreign Dictionaries (2 entries found)
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
Dervish \Der"vish\, Dervise \Der"vise\, Dervis \Der"vis\, n.
[Per. derw[=e]sch, fr. OPer. derew to beg, ask alms: cf. F.
1. A Turkish or Persian monk, especially one who professes
extreme poverty and leads an austere life.
2. One of the fanatical followers of the Mahdi, in the Sudan,
in the 1880's.
[Webster 1913 Suppl.]
3. in modern times, a member of an ascetic Mohammedan sect
notable for its devotional exercises, which include
energetic chanting or shouting and rhythmic bodily
movement, such as whirling, leading to a trance-like state
or ecstasy. From these exercises the phrase whirling
dervish is derived.
4. figuratively, a person who whirls or engages in frenzied
activity reminiscent of the dervish dancing.
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
n 1: an ascetic Muslim monk; a member of an order noted for
devotional exercises involving bodily movements
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