37 Meanings of "Yoga"

Think you know what “yoga” means? Here is the full definition of the word, Yoga, as set forth in the Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, page 856:

  • the act of yoking, joining, attaching harnessing, putting to (of horses)
  • a yoke, team, vehicle, conveyance
  • employment, use, application, performance
  • equipping or arraying (of an army)
  • fixing (of an arrow on the bow-string)
  • putting on (of armor)
  • a remedy, cure
  • a means, expedient, device, way, manner, method
  • a supernatural means, charm, incantation, magical art
  • a trick, strategem, fraud, deceit
  • undertaking, business, work
  • acquisition, gain, profit, wealth, property
  • occasion, opportunity
  • any junction, union, combination, contact with
  • to agree, consent, acquiesce in anything
  • mixing of various materials, mixture
  • partaking of, possessing
  • connection, relation
  • putting together, arrangement, disposition, regular succession
  • fitting together, fitness, propriety, suitability
  • exertion, endeavour, zeal, diligence, industry, care, attention, strenuously, assiduously; with all one’s powers, with overflowing zeal
  • application or concentration of the thoughts, abstract contemplation, meditation, self-concentration, abstract meditation and mental abstraction practised as a system (as taught by Patañjali and called the Yoga philosophy; it is the second of the two Samkhya systems, its chief aim being to teach the means by which the human spirit may attain complete union with isvara or the Supreme Spirit; in the practice of self-concentration it is closely connected with Buddhism)
  • any simple act or rite conducive to Yoga or abstract meditation
  • Yoga personified (as the son of Dharma and Kriya)
  • a follower of the Yoga system
  • the union of soul with matter
  • the union of the individual soul with the universal soul
  • devotion, pious seeking after God
  • (with jainas) contact or mixing with the outer world
  • (in astronomy) conjunction, lucky conjuncture, a constellation, asterism (these with the moon are called candra-yogah and are 13 in number; without the moon they're called kha-yogah or nabhasa-yogah)
  • the leading or principal star of a lunar asterism
  • of a variable division of time (during which the joint motion in longitude of the sun and moon amounts to 13 degrees 20 minutes; there are 27 such yogas beginning with viskambha and ending with vaidhrti)
  • (in arithmetic) addition, sum, total
  • (in grammar) the connection of words together, syntactical dependence of a word, construction
  • a combined or concentrated grammatical rule or aphorism
  • the connection of a word with its root, original or etymological meaning
  • a violator of confidence, spy

Source: The Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary. For links to Sanskrit dictionaries online, visit Lorin’s website, lorinroche.com.

Dr. Lorin Roche earned his PhD from the University of California at Irvine, where his research focused on the language meditators generate to describe their inner experiences. He teaches meditation individually, in classes and instructs Yoga teachers in how to teach meditation. His newest book, The Radiance Sutras, is an accessible, poetic version of the Vijnana Bhairva Tantra. This work is available on his website: lorinroche.com. Email comments and questions about meditation and more to: lorin@lorinroche.com

yoga, mw0856-yuSmota

The Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, hosted at the University of Cologne

Etymology of YOGA, in terms of how it got to be in English Dictionaries

YOGA ETYMOLOGY: Hindi, from Sanskrit yoga, union, joining. See yeug- in Appendix I.

Indo-European Roots

To join.

Derivatives include yoke, jugular, adjust, junta, and yoga.

   I. Zero-grade form *yug-. 1. Suffixed form *yug-o-. a. yoke, from Old English geoc, yoke, from Germanic *yukam; b. jugate, jugular, jugum; conjugate, subjugate, from Latin iugum, yoke; c. zygo- zygoma, zygote, –zygous; azygous, syzygy, from Greek zugon, yoke, and zugoun, to join; d. Yuga, from Sanskrit yugam, yoke. 2. Suffixed (superlative) form *yug-isto-. jostle, joust; adjust, juxtapose, juxtaposition, from Latin ixt, close by, perhaps from *iugist (vi), “on a nearby (road).” 3. Nasalized zero-grade form *yu-n-g-. join, joinder, joint, jointure, junction, juncture, junta; adjoin, conjoin, conjugal, conjunct, enjoin, injunction, rejoin, rejoinder, subjoin, from Latin iungere, to join.
   II. Suffixed form *yeug-m. zeugma, from Greek zeugma, a bond.
   III. Suffixed o-grade form *youg-o-. yoga, from Sanskrit yoga, union. (Pokorny 2. eu- 508.)