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Alternative forms[edit]


Hindi हविलदार (havildār), from Persian حوالدار(havâldâr), from Arabic حَوَالَة(ḥawāla, charge) + Persian دار(dâr, holder).



havildar (plural havildars)

  1. A type of soldier in parts of India, later a specific military rank of the British Indian Army and of the modern armies of India and Pakistan, equivalent to sergeant.
    • 1888, Rudyard Kipling, ‘At Howli Thana’, Black and White, Folio Society 2005, p. 388:
      ‘There was a great fight,’ said the Havildar, ‘and of us no man escaped unhurt.’
    • 1990, Peter Hopkirk, The Great Game, Folio Society 2010, p. 406:
      On being congratulated by the Russian, the Gurkha havildar, or sergeant, whispered anxiously to Younghusband that he should inform the towering Gromchevsky that they were unusually small and that most Gurkhas were even taller than he was.
    • 1997, Kiran Nagarkar, Cuckold, HarperCollins 2013, p. 252:
      The word is that every petty havaldar, sub-inspector and police inspector, licensing clerk and petty official has to be bribed before he'll do his duty.