ma·​dras | \ ˈma-drəs How to pronounce madras (audio) , mə-ˈdras, -ˈdräs \

Definition of madras

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a large silk or cotton kerchief usually of bright colors that is often worn as a turban
2a : a fine plain-woven shirting and dress fabric usually of cotton with varied designs (such as plaid) in bright colors or in white
b : a light open usually cotton fabric with a heavy design used for curtains


geographical name
Ma·​dras | \ mə-ˈdras How to pronounce Madras (audio) , -ˈdräs \

Definition of Madras (Entry 2 of 2)

1 — see tamil nadu
2 or now officially Chennai \ ˈche-​ˌnī How to pronounce Madras (audio) \ city and port on the Bay of Bengal in southern India population 4,646,732

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Other Words from madras

Geographical name

Madrasi \ mə-​ˈdra-​sē How to pronounce Madras (audio) , -​ˈdrä-​ \ noun

Examples of madras in a Sentence

Noun an Indian woman wearing a madras in bright yellow
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The thought of a Grosse Pointe Antifa made plenty of people who saw her tweet pause, given Grosse Pointe's longstanding reputation — er, stereotype — as the land of pastel polo shirts, loud madras pants and mingling at country clubs. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Grosse Pointe Antifa? The story behind the phrase — and jokes — that trended on Twitter," 20 Nov. 2020

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

First Known Use of madras


circa 1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for madras


Madras, India

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Time Traveler for madras

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The first known use of madras was circa 1830

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Cite this Entry

“Madras.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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Britannica English: Translation of madras for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about madras

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