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See also: pään



Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Hindi पान (pān).


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paan (countable and uncountable, plural paans)

  1. A psychoactive preparation of betel leaf combined with areca nut and/or cured tobacco, chewed recreationally in Asia; such a preparation served wrapped in the leaf. [from 16th c.]
    • 1924, EM Forster, A Passage to India, Penguin 2005, p. 13:
      ‘I am an Indian, it is an Indian habit to take pan. The Civil Surgeon must put up with it.’
    • 2003, David Abram, Nick Edwards, The Rough Guide to South India, Rough Guides, page 52,
      A paan consists of chopped or shredded nut (always referred to as betel nut, though in fact it comes from the areca palm), wrapped in a leaf (which does come from the betel tree). [] The triangular package thus formed is wedged inside your cheek and chewed slowly, and in the case of chuna and zarda paans, spitting out the juice as you go.
    • 2005, Rashmi Uday Singh, Mumbai by Night, page 142,
      Perched outside Madhavbagh Temple, decorated with antique mirrors, this 100-year-old shop serves up juicy paans, plump with mawa.
    • 2006, M. R. Narayan Swamy, New Delhi, page 31,
      Preparing a paan is simple. The leaf is first cleaned with water and dried. It is then covered with a thin layer of lime paste. In north India, paan sellers then spread red-coloured syrup (extracted from a native plant) over the lime paste.






  1. to swim


  • Gábor Takács, Omotic lexicon in its Afro-Asiatic setting III: Omotic *p-