A Jain, Buddhist, and Hindu doctrine expressing belief in the sacredness of all living creatures and urging the avoidance of harm and violence.
[Sanskrit ahiṁsā : a-, not; see ne in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + hiṁsā, injury (from hiṁsati, he injures).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.