Share this entry

Harijan Line breaks: Hari|jan
Pronunciation: /ˈhʌrɪdʒ(ə)n/

Definition of Harijan in English:


A member of a hereditary Hindu group of the lowest social and ritual status. See untouchable.
Example sentences
  • These are the same Harijans who were promised equal status if they converted to Christianity, but are still denied equality.
  • This class of untouchables (later called Harijans by Mahatma Gandhi) still exists in all parts of India.
  • Walking almost alone, he managed to collect some 3,000 acres of good arable land and have them distributed to the landless of whom the vast majority were Harijans and Adivasis.


From Sanskrit harijana, literally 'a person dedicated to Vishnu', from Hari 'Vishnu' + jana 'person'. The term was adopted and popularized by Gandhi.

Words that rhyme with Harijan

oxygen • antigen

Definition of Harijan 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 ads and access premium resources

Word of the day luxe
Pronunciation: ləks
expensive and of high quality; luxurious