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Sanskrit सिंहल ‎(siṃhala), from सिंह ‎(siṃhá, lion) + suffix -la that is speculatively connected to Sanskrit verbal root लाति ‎(√lā, to seize) and thus the phrase would originally mean "lion-seizer" or "lion-killer", or it could be connected to Sanskrit लोह ‎(lohá, blood) which would then render the phrase as "lion blood". The only thing that can with certainty be said is that this word is somehow connected with the term for lion.

According to legend, Sinhabahu or Sīhabāhu ("Lion-arms"), was the son of a Vanga princess and a lion. He killed his father (the lion) and became king of Vanga. His son Vijaya would emigrate to Lankā and become the progenitor of the Sinhala people.


  • IPA(key): /ˈsɪnhələ/, /sɪnˈhɑːlə/
  • Hyphenation: Sin‧ha‧la
  • Rhymes: -ɑːlə

Proper noun[edit]


  1. The indigenous language of the majority people of Sri Lanka.
  2. An ancient name for the island of Sri Lanka.
  3. (Mahabharata) The kingdom in the island of Sri Lanka mentioned in the Mahabharata.



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