Meaning of devadasi in English:


Pronunciation /ˌdeɪvəˈdɑːsi/

nounplural noun devadasis

  • A hereditary female dancer in a Hindu temple.

    ‘It is believed by some scholars to be more than 3,000 years old and was once performed by Hindu temple dancers, or devadasis.’
    • ‘On the Indian subcontinent, one of many forms of dance involves the devadasis, or temple dancers, who dance in the context of temple rituals.’
    • ‘During his long ‘unlearning spree’, he travelled from the Himalayas to Kerala, lending his ear to swamis, gurus and devadasis: the erotic scenes in his film came out of conversation with a 92-year-old devadasi he met in Andhra Pradesh.’
    • ‘The Devadasi Act of 1929, which was initiated for the abolition of the dedication of devadasis to temples, put them in a deep freeze.’
    • ‘So much so, dancers of other forms like Orissi in east, Sanjukta Panigrahi and Sonal Mansingh, expressed desire to serve as devadasis in temples, an irony lost on all.’
    • ‘The dance begins with devadasis offering arati at a temple in a dense forest.’
    • ‘She has produced theses that helped address the problems of devadasis, played an active role in the UN Conference of Women in Beijing 1995, and contributed to the Brains Trust that drew up the post-Beijing summit five years later.’
    • ‘I share with her the history of how contemporary Bharatanatyam is derived from Sadir of the devadasis and how it has morphed into a post independence, post colonial reformist construct of a new vocabulary and where it is going from here.’
    • ‘These are the areas where child marriages and dedication of young girls as devadasis (a culturally sanctioned form of prostitution) continue to be problems.’
    • ‘Meanwhile in India, women are deliberately performing in black, and using the inspiration of the devadasis to represent nayikas with an assertive sexuality of their own.’
    • ‘As danseuse she fought against insurmountable obstacles to revive Bharatanatyam at a time when it was associated with devadasis.’
    • ‘It is no longer confined to the temples, to the Gotipuas and Maharis of Odissi, the devadasis of Bharatanatyam.’
    • ‘Sometimes I wonder whether devadasis in the past have all this in mind when they dance before their Lord.’
    • ‘The Deity as the ultimate ‘rule giver’ and ‘rule breaker ‘is a symbol for society, which after giving birth and legitimacy to the devadasi, discarded her, thereby disowning its own child.’
    • ‘Together, the Asian traditions revealed a matrilineal passage for the feminine principle - apsara, geisha, devadasi, or kisaeng.’
    • ‘The devadasi system, still prevalent in Karnataka and parts of Maharashtra, has thrived not because the law is ineffective or that the society demands it.’
    • ‘Illiteracy, poverty and social evils such as the devadasi system and spread of AIDS were major concerns in the region.’
    • ‘A telefilm, ‘Devadasi’, based on the love and life of a devadasi girl, will be aired at noon.’
    • ‘Scholars are of the opinion that the devadasi cult came to Kerala by about around 6th or 7th cent.’
    • ‘Some scholars believe that like Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam too was associated with devadasi tradition and other scholars think Mohiniattam was a dance form performed by women but not associated with devadasi system.’


From Sanskrit devadāsī, literally ‘female servant of a god’.