Believed to come from the Tungus word "saman" meaning (very roughly)holder of knowledge.
Some anthropologists maintain that shaman are the basis of most magician/sorceror archetypes in folklore.
In modern times the word is overused, and seems to have become , in the minds of the modern illiterate, purely connected with various character classes in computer RolePlaying Games.
2. A class in the MMORPG World of Warcraft, which is playable only by players of the Horde faction. Originaly from Warcraft III, the Shaman carries an arsenal of spells "borrowed" from other classes. Shamans can heal, nuke, snare, deal damage over time, and invoke their weapons with special abilities making them very proficient at melee combat as well. Being the most balanced class in the game, Shamans are often viewed as over-powered since they can easily cover their weaknesses with a given spell.
A shaman has the duties of contacting spirits, foretelling the future, healing and etc.
They can be found in central asia and siberia either at the turkic or mongolic people and in north america with the natives.
2) A multi-purpose hybrid class in World of Warcraft. Can heal and cast elemental spells, and is fairly durable. Originally only available to the Horde—intended as a counterpart to the Alliance's paladins—but this changed with the release of the Burning Crusade expansion.
2) WTF? Some draenei shaman just ganked me in Hillsbrad!