(In South Asia) a large building divided into many separate tenements, offering cheap, basic accommodation to labourers.
- And we, who reside in the overcrowded chawls, we simply live.
- They lived together in a room apartment in a chawl owned by the local touts.
- When the textile mills were set up in Bombay the employers were required to provide housing in the form of chawls for their workers.
From Marathi cāḷ, denoting a long narrow building.
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