Definition of punkah in English:


Line breaks: pun¦kah
Pronunciation: /ˈpʌŋkə
, -kɑː/


chiefly historical
1(In India) a large cloth fan on a frame suspended from the ceiling, moved backwards and forwards by pulling on a cord: [as modifier]: the punkah wallah fell asleep over his task
More example sentences
  • I could tell it was her because of the punkah wallah holding a large sign bearing the words ‘Tessa Jowell IS HERE’.
  • I so want to be oiled by a nice clean punkah wallah.
  • Back in town, among the most distinctive digs are the Hotel Sofitel Central, a palatial, seafront pavilion of louvres, punkah fans and armies of gardeners.
1.1Indian An electric fan.
More example sentences
  • You can imagine yourself in a stifling ballroom in Calcutta, full of feverish gaiety, while punkahs languidly stir the air.
  • Aware of the famous punkahs at Brisbane's Tattersalls Club, Addison's punkahs - his first - also form part of a strategy of passive environmental control.
  • An ideally positioned bar and lounge under an open-thatch roof is cooled by the silent swish of punkahs, and decorated in harmonious green, cream and ebony.


via Hindi from Sanskrit pakṣaka, from pakṣa 'wing'.

Definition of punkah in:

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Pronunciation: ˈdeɪktɪk
denoting a word whose meaning depends on context...