untouchable


1un·touch·able

adjective \ˌən-ˈtə-chə-bəl\

: too powerful or important to be punished, criticized, etc.

: too good to be equaled by anyone else

Full Definition of UNTOUCHABLE

1
a :  forbidden to the touch :  not to be handled
b :  exempt from criticism or control
2
:  lying beyond reach
3
:  disagreeable or defiling to the touch

Examples of UNTOUCHABLE

  1. The mayor believed that he was untouchable and not subject to the same laws as the rest of us.
  2. The team's record was untouchable.

First Known Use of UNTOUCHABLE

1607

2untouchable

noun

: a member of the lowest social class in India

Full Definition of UNTOUCHABLE

:  one that is untouchable; specifically :  a member of a large formerly segregated hereditary group in India having in traditional Hindu belief the quality of defiling by contact a member of a higher caste

First Known Use of UNTOUCHABLE

1909

untouchable

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Former classification of various low-status persons and those outside the Hindu caste system in Indian society. The term Dalit has been used for such people (in preference to Mohandas K. Gandhi's earlier term, Harijan, which is now considered condescending by the Dalit themselves), and their plight is recognized by the Indian constitution and by legislation. The groups traditionally considered untouchable included people whose occupations or habits of life involved activities considered to be polluting, such as taking life for a living (e.g., fishermen); killing or disposing of dead cattle or working with their hides; coming into contact with human waste (e.g., sweepers); and eating flesh of cattle, pigs, or chickens. Many untouchables converted to other religions to escape discrimination. Indian law now categorizes the Dalit under the official term Scheduled Castes and accords them certain special privileges.

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