Definition of bindi
: a mark (such as a red dot) or piece of jewelry worn on the middle of the forehead especially by Hindu women On the morning of my belated return visit, an elegant matron with a jewelled bindi … gave me directions to a few of her favorite shops … — Judith Thurman, New Yorker, 13 Dec. 2004 … has had to put aside the traditional Indian saris she adores and wear Western-style dress in public instead … . She has even abandoned her bindi—the small cosmetic dot worn on the forehead of most Indian women. — Michel Marriott, New York Times, 12 Oct. 1987 The current tenant, the beautiful and mysterious Maya Vanasi, has Jefferson spellbound. He is entranced by the red dot, or bindi, painted on her forehead, which she explains is a symbolic third eye, representing wisdom, or “the window to the soul.” — Publishers Weekly, 10 Jan. 2000
Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.
Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:
- More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
- Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
- Advanced search features
- Ad free!
Origin and Etymology of bindi
borrowed from Hindi bindī, literally, “dot, mark” (or a cognate Indo-Aryan word), going back to the Middle Indo-Aryan and Sanskrit stem bindu- “drop, spot”
First Known Use: 1872See Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up bindi? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).