raj

noun \ ˈräj \

Definition of raj

1 : rule; especiallyoften capitalized : the former British rule of the Indian subcontinent
2 : the period of British rule in India

raj was our Word of the Day on 02/01/2010. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of raj from the Web

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

Did You Know?

When British trading posts were established in the Indian subcontinent in the 17th century, English speakers were immersed in the rich languages of the region, and Europeans quickly began adopting local words into their own vocabularies. By the end of the 1700s, Hindi contributions to our language ran from ayah (a term for a nurse or maid) to zamindar (a collector of land taxes or revenues). When English speakers borrowed raj around 1800, they used exactly the same spelling and meaning as its Hindi parent (the Hindi word in turn traces to an older term that is related to the Sanskrit word for "king"). Other words of Hindi descent that are now common in English include chintz, pundit, bungalow, veranda, seersucker, and bandanna.

Origin and Etymology of raj

Hindi & Urdu rāj, from Sanskrit rājya; akin to Sanskrit rājan king


Learn More about raj


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up raj? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to laugh loudly or immoderately

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman-tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!