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Urdu Syllabification: Ur·du
Pronunciation: /ˈo͝ordo͞o/

Definition of Urdu in English:


A form of Hindustani written in Persian script, with many loanwords from Persian and Arabic. It is an official language of Pakistan and is widely used in India and elsewhere.
Example sentences
  • He saw old manuscripts and spoke about similarities of Urdu, Arabic and Persian.
  • The proof of the popularity of Urdu in North India is in the sale of Urdu verse in Hindi script.
  • Similar books had been written in Arabic and Urdu, but this was the first of its kind in English.


From Persian (zabān-i-)urdū '(language of the) camp' (because it developed after the Muslim invasions as a lingua franca between the occupying armies and the local people of the region around Delhi), urdū being from Turkic ordu (see horde).

  • horde from Old English:

    A horde was originally a tribe or troop of nomads, such as the Tartars led by Genghis Khan, who migrated from place to place in search of new pasture or plunder. The word comes from Polish horda, which is itself from Turkish ordu ‘royal camp’, from which the language name Urdu (late 18th century) also derives. The word is often confused with hoard (Old English) a Germanic word for ‘a secret stock or store’.

Definition of Urdu in:
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