Pali, aka: Pālī, Pāli; 9 Definition(s)


Pali means something in Buddhism, Pali, Hinduism, Sanskrit, Jainism, Prakrit, Marathi. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Buddhism

Theravada (major branch of Buddhism)

The canon of texts (see Tipitaka) preserved by the Theravada school and, by extension, the language in which those texts are composed.(Source): Access to Insight: A Glossary of Pali and Buddhist Terms

See Mahapali and Suvannapali.

(Source): Pali Kanon: Pali Proper Names
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Theravāda is a major branch of Buddhism having the the Pali canon (tipitaka) as their canonical literature, which includes the vinaya-pitaka (monastic rules), the sutta-pitaka (Buddhist sermons) and the abhidhamma-pitaka (philosophy and psychology).


Pali is the language of the Buddhist scriptures of the Theravada tradition.

(Source): Dhamma Study: Cetasikas
Abhidhamma book cover
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Abhidhamma (अभिधम्म) usually refers to the last section (piṭaka) of the Pali canon and includes schematic classifications of scholastic literature dealing with Theravāda Buddhism. Primary topics include psychology, philosophy, methodology and metaphysics which are rendered into exhaustive enumerations and commentaries.


pāli : (f.) a line; range; the canon of the Buddhist writings or the language in which it is written. || paḷi (f.) a line; range; the canon of the Buddhist writings or the language in which it is written.

(Source): BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Pāli, (Pāḷi) (f.) (cp. Sk. pālī a causeway, bridge Halāyudha III, 54) 1. a line, row Dāvs III, 61; IV, 3; Vism. 242 (dvattiṃs’ākāra°), 251 (danta°); SnA 87.—2. a line, norm, thus the canon of Buddhist writings; the text of the Pāli Canon, i.e. the original text (opp. to the Commentary; thus “pāliyaṃ” is opposed to “aṭṭhakathāyaṃ” at Vism. 107, 450, etc). It is the literary language of the early Buddhists, closely related to Māgadhī. See Grierson, The Home of Lit. Pāli (Bhandarkar Commemoration vol. p. 117 sq.), and literature given by Winternitz, Gesch. d. Ind. Litt. , II. 10; III, 606, 635. The word is only found in Commentaries, not in the Piṭaka. See also Hardy, Introd. to Nett, p. xi.—J. IV, 447 (°nayena accord. to the Pāli Text); Vism. 376 (°nay’anusārena id.), 394, 401, 565 (°anusārato accord. to the text of the Canon); 607, 630, 660 sq. , 693, 712; KhA 41; SnA 333, 424, 519, 604; DhsA. 157, 168; DhA. IV, 93; VvA. 117, 203 (pālito+aṭṭhuppattito); PvA. 83, 87, 92, 287; and freq. elsewhere.—vaṇṇanā is explanation of the text (as regards meaning of words), purely textual criticism, as opposed to vinicchaya-kathā analysis, exegesis, interpretation of sense Vbh. 291; Vism. 240 (contrasted to bhāvanāniddesa). (Page 455)

— or —

Pali°, (a variant of pari°, to be referred to the Māgadhī dialect in which it is found most frequently, esp. in the older language, see Pischel, Prk. Gr. § 257; Geiger, P. Gr. § 44) round, around (=pari) only as prefix in cpds. (q. v.). Often we find both pari° & pali° in the same word. (Page 440)

(Source): Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
Pali book cover
context information

Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

General definition (in Buddhism)

The language of the Theravada (Hinayana) Buddhist Canon, alleged to be the language used by the Buddha.(Source): Buddhist Door: Glossary

In Jainism

General definition (in Jainism)

Pāli (पालि) is a Prakrit ending for deriving proper personal names, mentioned as an example in the Aṅgavijjā chapter 26. This chapter includes general rules to follow when deriving proper names. The Aṅgavijjā (mentioning pāli) is an ancient treatise from the 3rd century CE dealing with physiognomic readings, bodily gestures and predictions and was written by a Jain ascetic in 9000 Prakrit stanzas.

(Source): Personal and geographical names in the Gupta inscriptions (jainism)
General definition book cover
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Jainism is an Indian religion of Dharma whose doctrine revolves around harmlessness (ahimsa) towards every living being. The two major branches (Digambara and Svetambara) of Jainism stimulate self-control (or, shramana, ‘self-reliance’) and spiritual development through a path of peace for the soul to progess to the ultimate goal.

Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

pāli (पालि) [or पाली, pālī].—f S The curving edge of the auricle, the helix. 2 Circumference.

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pāḷī (पाळी).—f A turn or recurring season: also an alternation or a vicissitude, a turn, spell, bout. 2 Lot or allotment; state or portion assigned. (For kuḷavācī pāḷī) A turn or bout (over ploughed ground) of the kuḷava (harrow); and, sometimes (over ground gen.) of the nāṅgara (plough). v ghāla.

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pāḷī (पाळी).—f (Poetry. pāli S) An encircling body or line (of troops, trees, wall, hedge &c.)

(Source): DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

paḷī (पळी).—f A ladle gen.

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pāḷī (पाळी).—f A turn. Lot or allotment. An encircling body or line.

(Source): DDSA: The Aryabhusan school dictionary, Marathi-English
context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

Relevant definitions

Search found 768 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

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Karṇapāli (कर्णपालि) or Karṇapālī (कर्णपाली).—f. 1) the lobe of the ear. 2) the outer edge of t...
Āmrapālī (आम्रपाली).—f. Name of a prostitute famous for her beauty. Āmrapālī is a Sanskrit comp...
Paroli Pali
pārōḷī paḷī (पारोळी पळी).—f A sort of spoon used in sandhyā, made at the village pārōḷēṃ.
Kapotapālī (कपोतपाली).—f. an aviary, a pigeon-house, dove-cot. Kapotapālī is a Sanskrit compoun...
Aṅkapāli (अङ्कपालि) or Aṅkapālī (अङ्कपाली).—[pā-ali ṣa. ta. vā. ṅīp] 1) the extremity of region...
Pālibhaṅga (पालिभङ्ग) or Pālībhaṅga (पालीभङ्ग).—the bursting of a dike.Derivable forms: pālibha...
Aṅgapāli (अङ्गपालि).—f. [aṅgaṃ pālyate sambadhyate'tra, aṅga-pāl-i] an embrace (probably a corr...
Kulavaci Pali
kuḷavācī pāḷī (कुळवाची पाळी).—f A bout or turn of the kuḷava, a single drawing of the kuḷava ov...
Śravaṇapāli (श्रवणपालि) or Śravaṇapālī (श्रवणपाली).—f. the tip of the ear. Derivable forms: śra...
tipiṭaka : (nt.) the 3 divisions of the Buddhist Canon.
Rājagṛha (राजगृह).—(girivraja) An ancient city in India, capital of Magadha. Dīrgha King of Gi...
Abhidhamma (अभिधम्म) refers to a set of teachings according to the Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra (ch...
Karuṇa (करुण).—a. [karoti manaḥ ānukūlyāya, kṛ-unan Tv.] Tender, pathetic, pitiable, exciting p...
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