1. sign, omen, portent, prognostication DN.i.9 (study of omens = n. satthaṃ DN-a.i.92, q.v. for detailed expln); Ja.i.11 (caturo nimitte nâddasaṃ); Mil.79, Mil.178 Esp. as pubba˚; signs preceding an event, portents, warnings, foreshadowings SN.v.154, SN.v.278, SN.v.442; Iti.76 (cp. Divy.193, of the waning of a god); Ja.i.48, Ja.i.50 (32 signs before birth, some at DN-a.i.61), Ja.i.59; Mil.298; Vism.577.
  2. outward appearance, mark, characteristic, attribute phenomenon (opp. essence) DN.iii.249; AN.i.256; AN.iii.319 AN.iii.375 sq.; AN.iv.33, AN.iv.418 sq.; Ja.i.420; Pts.i.60, Pts.i.91 sq., Pts.i.164, Pts.i.170, Pts.ii.39, Pts.ii.64; Vb.193 sq
    ■ Mental reflex, image (with ref to jhāna) Vism.123, cp. Dhs-a.167
    ■ Specified e.g. as foll.: oḷārika SN.v.259; pasādaniya SN.v.156; paccavekkhana˚ DN.iii.278; Vb.334; bahiddhā-sankhārā Pts.i.66 sq.; bāla˚ (opp. paṇḍita˚) MN.iii.163; AN.i.102 mukha˚ (= face) DN.i.80; SN.iii.103; SN.v.121; AN.v.92, AN.v.97 sq., AN.v.103; rūpa˚, sadda˚ etc. SN.iii.10; MN.i.296; Pts.i.92 Pts.i.112; samatha˚ DN.iii.213; samādhi˚ etc. AN.i.256 sq. subha˚ (& asubha˚) SN.v.64, SN.v.103 sq.; AN.i.3 sq., AN.i.87, AN.i.200, AN.v.134; Vism.178 sq. nimittaṃ gaṇhāti to make something the object of a thought, to catch up a theme for reflection Vin.i.183, cp. SN.v.150 sq. (˚ṃ uggaṇhāti) MN.i.119 (= five sorts of mental images); Cnd.659; Dhs-a.53 (= ākāra). See below n-gāhin & animitta.; nimittaṃ parivajjeti to discard the phenomenal SN.i.188; Snp.341.
  3. mark, aim: in nimittaṃ karoti to pick out the aim, to mark out Ja.v.436; Cnd.235, Cnd.1#d; Mil.418.
  4. sexual organ (cp. lakkhaṇa) Vin.iii.129 (n. & a˚, as term of abuse); see also kāṭa & koṭacikā.
  5. ground reason, condition, in; nimittena (instr.) and nimittaṃ (acc.) as adv. = by means of, on account of Dhp-a.iii.175 (instr.) Pv-a.8, Pv-a.97 (jāti-nimittaṃ), Pv-a.106 (kiṃ n˚ṃ = kissa hetu), Pv-a.242 (yaṃ n˚ṃ = yato nidānaṃ). gahita-nimittena “by means of being caught” Vism.144 = Dhs-a.116 (read translation 154 accordingly!). adj. nimitta (-˚ caused by, referring to Pv-a.64 (maraṇa-nimittaṃ rodanaṃ)

animitta free from marks or attributes not contaminated by outward signs or appearance undefiled, ụnaffected, unconditioned (opp. sa˚) SN.i.188 SN.iv.225 (phassa), SN.iv.268, SN.iv.360 (samādhi); MN.i.296 (cetovimutti); AN.i.82; AN.iii.292; AN.iv.78; Vin.iii.129; Thag.92; DN.iii.219, DN.iii.249; Dhp.92; Snp.342; Pts.i.60, Pts.i.91; Pts.ii.36, Pts.ii.59 sq (vimokha), 65 sq., 99; Dhs.530 (read a˚ for appa˚) Vism.236; Dhs-a.223 (absence of the 3 lakkhaṇas) Mil.333, Mil.413; Dhp-a.ii.172; Thag-a.50. See also Cpd. 199 2115. sanimitta SN.v.213 sq.; AN.i.82.

  • -ānusārin following outward signs (= ˚gāhin) AN.iii.292; Ne.25;
  • -kamma prognostication, prophecy Vin.v.172; Vb.353;
  • -karaṇa = gāhin SN.iv.297;
  • -gāhin “taking signs,” enticed or led away by outward signs entranced with the general appearance, sensuously attracted DN.i.70 (cp. dialogues i.80); DN.iii.225; SN.iv.104 SN.iv.168; AN.ii.16; AN.iii.99; AN.v.348; Pp.20, Pp.24, Pp.58; Dhs.1345; Mil.367, Mil.403. Cp. Vism.151, Vism.209.

cp. Sk. nimitta, to , although etym. uncertain