Sāvaka-buddha (Pāli) is a rarely used term in Theravada Buddhism, identifying enlightened 'disciples of a Buddha' as Buddhas. These disciples are those enlightened individuals who gain Nibbana by hearing the Dhamma as initially taught by a Sammasambuddha. They might also lead others to enlightenment, but cannot teach the Dhamma in a time or world where it has been forgotten, because they depend upon a tradition that stretches back to a Sammasambuddha.
When the term Sāvakabuddha is used, it refers to a third type of Buddha, other than the Sammasambuddha and Paccekabuddha. The term Savakabuddha is used in Theravadin commentaries, and does not occur in the scriptures of the Pali Canon. The term regularly appears in Mahayana texts such as in Mahayana texts like Shantideva's Bodhisattvacharyavatara and in the Tibetan tradition. Śrāvaka (Pāli: Sāvaka) literally means "one who hears", i.e. a Buddhist who follows the path to enlightenment by means of hearing the instructions of others.