DSAE test file

isanusi, noun

Forms:
isanuse, izanusiShow more Also isanuse, izanusi, sanuse, sanusi, and with initial capital.
Plurals:
unchanged, or isanusis.
Origin:
Zulu, XhosaShow more Zulu isanusi (plural izanusi), Xhosa isanuse (plural izanuse), diviner, formed on nusa contraction of nukisa, nuka divine, ‘smell out’ + causative suffix -isa. For notes on the use of Nguni plural prefixes, see isi- and izi-.
A traditional healer or diviner, often an aged practitioner who has developed his or her psychic gifts, and whose clairvoyant powers enable him or her to ‘smell out’ evil; smeller out, see smell; smelling doctor, see doctor sense 1 b; also used as a title, and attributive. See also witchdoctor.
1852 H. Fynn in J. Bird Annals of Natal (1888) I. 107The Kafir term employed to designate the person called a ‘witchdoctor’ is ‘Isanusi’...This designation is specific, and indicates one who is not only gifted with an extraordinary power of discernment, but who has also an intercourse with the spiritual world.
1983 Pace Dec. 23In the language of the Hitites a high priest is known as a ‘sanusi’ or ‘sanuzi.’ In the language of the Hindus a holy man is known as a ‘sanyasi’. In Zulu he is known as a ‘sanusi’ or an ‘isazi,’ which immediately connects the Hitites’ ‘sanasi’ and the word ‘sanusi.’
A traditional healer or diviner, often an aged practitioner who has developed his or her psychic gifts, and whose clairvoyant powers enable him or her to ‘smell out’ evil; smeller out, see smell; smelling doctor, see doctor1 b; also used as a title, and attributive.

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

18521983