raj

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noun \ˈräj\

Definition of raj

  1. 1 :  rule; especially, often capitalized :  the former British rule of the Indian subcontinent

  2. 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


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