punkah

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Hindi pańkhā ‘fan’, from Sanskrit पकशक pakśaka, from पकश pakśa ‘wing’.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

punkah (plural punkahs)

  1. A type of large fan, common on the Indian subcontinent, especially made from a leaf or from cloth, typically hung from the ceiling, designed to cool a room, often operated manually by a servant.
    • 1973, Patrick O'Brian, HMS Surprise:
      Perhaps it was a mistake to invite Mr Stanhope; the day was intolerably hot and humid; all he wanted to do was to lie on his bed with a punkah sighing over him, at least moving the unbreathable air.

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