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From Urdu مفصل(mufassil, mufassal, divided), from Persian مفصل(mufassal), from Arabic مُفَصَّل(mufaṣṣal), passive participle of فَصَّلَ(faṣṣala, to divide, classify).



mofussil (countable and uncountable, plural mofussils)

  1. (India) Originally, the regions of India outside the three East India Company capitals of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras; hence, parts of a country outside an urban centre; the regions, rural areas.
    • 1904, Herbert Compton, Indian Life in Town and Country:
      Such are the means by which the Mofussil, “up-country,” or provincial Anglo-Indian will reach his station or district, and unless he is going to Bombay or Calcutta, which are practically the two entrance doors of the Empire, with Madras for a back door, his first experience of Anglo-Indian life will be of travel; and the land journey will often prove much more trying than the sea-voyage.
    • 2015, Tridip Suhrud, translating Govardhanram Madhavram Tripathi, Sarasvatichandra I, Orient BlackSwan 2015, p. 3:
      His natural language was crass and of the mofussil, yet he could pepper it with smart turns of phrase on occasion.

Usage notes[edit]

The term is used widely in India and Bangladesh. Although value-neutral, the word occasionally carries negative connotations when used by residents of a large metropolis, similar to "the boonies" or "the sticks" in English. The word 'mufassil' ordinarily means divided or 'detailed' in Urdu, and that is the common usage of the term in Pakistan.


  • Indian Life in Town and Country by Herbert Compton, 1904, Chapter 13 [1]
  • Government of Andhra Pradesh: Motor Vehicles Act, 1988[2]