Share this entry

Bengali Line breaks: Ben|gali
Pronunciation: /bɛŋˈɡɔːli/

Definition of Bengali in English:

noun (plural Bengalis)

1A native of Bengal.
Example sentences
  • The Indian Bengalis and the Bengali expatriates all over the world would pay almost anything to have Hilsha in their plate.
  • With the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, official records were of emigration from that country, separate from that of Indians and Bengalis.
  • The Hindu Bengalis were the first Indians to master the English language and to learn their master's ways, the first to flatter him by emulation, and the first to earn his distrust by unbidden demonstrations of wit and industry.
2 [mass noun] The Indic language of Bangladesh and West Bengal, spoken by some 200 million people. It is written in a script similar to the Devanagari script.
Example sentences
  • Though English continues to be a strong second language in Bangladesh, Bengali is the official language of government and education.
  • Though Begum Azad has sung in other languages including Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Telugu, it is her mother-tongue that she is most comfortable with.
  • He is a linguist and fluently speaks in Urdu, Persian, Tamil, Nepali, Bengali, Hindi and Assamese, besides English and Khasi languages.


Back to top  
Relating to Bengal, its people, or their language.
Example sentences
  • These two will be followed by the launch of four specialised channels in all the four southern languages, and also a Bengali channel.
  • Bangladesh, which means the ‘Land of the Bengalis’ in the Bengali language, is a republic located in Southeast Asia.
  • To ensure that the girls know and understand their own Bangladeshi culture local Bangladeshi artists and musicians conduct classes in drawing, singing, dancing and recitation of Bengali poems.


From Hindi baṅgālī.

Words that rhyme with Bengali

Cawley, crawly, creepy-crawly, Macaulay, Morley, Nepali, poorly, rawly, scrawly, squally

Definition of Bengali in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day whippersnapper
Pronunciation: ˈwɪpəsnapə
a young, inexperienced person considered presumptuous or overconfident...