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Definition: Hindi from Philip's Encyclopedia

Most widespread language in India, spoken in the north-central area by 154 million people. Hindi and English are the official languages of India. It derives from Sanskrit and belongs to the Indo-European family.

Summary Article: Hindi
from The Penguin English Dictionary

the Indic language of N India, used as an official language of India

Hindi adj

Hindi hindī from Hind India, from Persian. British involvement in India – trading from the early 17th cent., and controlling most of the subcontinent from the mid-18th cent. to 1947 with a large army and civil service – has resulted in a considerable number of words being borrowed from Hindi into English. Words in general use include bangle, bungalow, chutney, cot, cummerbund, dungaree, gymkhana, juggernaut, jungle, jute, khaki, loot, pundit, pyjamas, shampoo, thug, and veranda. British slang has also been enriched by Hindi words picked up by British soldiers serving in India, such as blighty, cushy, dekko, and gooly; doolally, based on an Indian place name, is another memento of their service. All these words, unlike many borrowings from non-European languages, have become so anglicized that their origin is rarely recognized. Other Hindi loanwords, which probably still betray their origin, include guru, pukka, purdah, puttee, and topee. See also usage note at Hindu

Original material copyright © Merriam-Webster Inc. and Longman Group Ltd, 1986, Revisions, updating and new material copyright © Penguin Books, 2000, 2003

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