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A swami (Sanskrit: स्वामी Svāmī [sʋɑːmiː]) sometimes abbreviated "Sw." is an ascetic or yogi who has been initiated into the religious monastic order founded by Adi Shankara, or to a religious teacher.
The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology as
Hindi svāmī master, lord, prince, used by Hindus as a term of respectful address, < Sanskrit svāmin in same senses, also the idol or temple of a god.
In the Bengali language, the word (pronounced [ˈʃami]), while carrying its original meaning, has a dual meaning of 'husband'. The word also means 'husband' in the Malay language, where it is spelled 'Suami'.
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