Definitions for "Rinpoche"
precious one, [ Tib.] the title for highly repectable Dharma teachers. It is used for someone identified as the rebirth of an earlier distinguished Dharma practitioner, also called tulku ( Skt. Nirmanakaya) or incarnate lama.
This is an honorific term applied to lama s in Vajrayana (Tibetan) Buddhism. It literally means "greatly precious" and is given to masters who are highly valued for their spiritual knowledge. A Rinpoche is often believed to be the reincarnation of a lama, guru, or even a bodhisattva or a buddha. For introductions to some Rinpoches, go here.
(precious one) a term of endearment used respectfully for Tibetan teachers. It does not have a technical meaning, or imply a ranking, or level of hierarchy amongst lineage teachers.