Definition of desi in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdeɪsi/
(also deshi /ˈdeɪʃi/) Indian


1Local; indigenous: desi liquor
More example sentences
  • Local vendors, desi restaurants and fast food joints have kept the flavour of old Gandhi Bazaar alive, but adding that extra zing are modern shops and stores, inviting the young and old alike.
  • Some continue to grow desi or local cotton, but these are a minority.
  • In Bangladesh, many prefer deshi chicken to foreign varieties breaded in firms.
1.1 derogatory Rustic; unsophisticated.
Example sentences
  • The problem is when the chatterati prefers a suave, polished and TVgenic dictator over a rustic politician and berates the unsophisticated desi.
  • "And the Indian consumer is smart — he is not averse to global brands, but nor is he going to be swayed by very desi, rustic images and change his mind."
2Unadulterated or pure: desi ghee
More example sentences
  • We will have to reduce our share of desi ghee, butter, parathas, gajar ka halwa, butter chicken, puris and the recent trend of eating junk food.
  • Those who bring desi ghee from home for their kulcha get a discount of three rupees, I was told.
  • But with the lack of physical activity in the recent years coupled with intake of diet devoid of fibre such as chappaties and other snack foods made from flour of decorticated foodgrains, consumption of desi ghee started raising total cholesterol levels.


A person of Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi birth or descent who lives abroad.
Example sentences
  • In this era of desis (Indian expatriates living overseas) and globalized outsourcing, the subcontinent is more hip to homosexuality than it would seem at first glance.
  • Her job entails fighting for the rights of over 3,000 taxi drivers, the majority of them desis, that is from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, who are members of the Alliance.
  • For Indian readers, a caveat - there were no desis on the list of regional winners this year, which isn't surprising.


Via Hindi from Sanskrit deśa 'country, land'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: desi

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