baksheesh

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noun bak·sheesh \ ˈbak-ˌshēsh , bak-ˈ \

Definition of baksheesh

:payment (such as a tip or bribe) to expedite service

baksheesh was our Word of the Day on 09/26/2011. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of baksheesh from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'baksheesh.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

Baksheesh came into the English language around 1686 and was most likely picked up by British subjects as they traveled abroad. In Asia, English speakers would have heard "baksheesh" used as a word meaning "gratuity, a present of money, tip" - a meaning they directly adopted. Etymologically speaking, "baksheesh" is from Persian "bakhshīsh," which is also the source of the word buckshee, meaning "something extra obtained free," "extra rations," or "windfall, gratuity." "Buckshee" is strictly a British English term and is not used in American English.

Origin and Etymology of baksheesh

Persian bakhshīsh, from bakhshīdan to give; akin to Greek phagein to eat, Sanskrit bhajati he allots


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