From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:
Buddhism \Bud"dhism\, noun The religion based upon the doctrine originally taught by the Hindu sage Gautama Siddartha, surnamed Buddha, "the awakened or enlightened," in the sixth century b. c., and adopted as a religion by the greater part of the inhabitants of Central and Eastern Asia and the Indian Islands. Buddha's teaching is believed to have been atheistic; yet it was characterized by elevated humanity and morality. It presents release from existence (a beatific enfranchisement, Nirv[^a]na) as the greatest good. Buddhists believe in transmigration of souls through all phases and forms of life. Their number was estimated in 1881 at 470,000,000.
From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:
2: the teaching of Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct and wisdom and meditation releases one from desire and suffering and rebirth
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