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or houdah

[hou-duh] /ˈhaʊ də/
(in the East Indies) a seat or platform for one or more persons, commonly with a railing and a canopy, placed on the back of an elephant.
Origin of howdah
1765-75; < Hindi haudah < Arabic hawdaj Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for howdah
Historical Examples
  • He enters the howdah—the elephant rises—the procession starts.

    For Love of the King Oscar Wilde
  • One of the great pleasures or curiosities was a ride on his back in a howdah.

    A Little Girl of Long Ago Amanda Millie Douglas
  • Do you think the first tiger I see will get into my howdah and maul me?

    Gil the Gunner George Manville Fenn
  • He had no howdah, as that is not necessary, except for ladies.

  • I was not in a howdah, but on a pad; and the tiger struck one of its forepaws on my knee.

    The Lost Heir G. A. Henty
  • Ainslie took the Colonel in his howdah; and Mrs Ainslie shared mine.

    Life in an Indian Outpost Gordon Casserly
  • "I see you know, though some do call it his howdah," said Uncle Charlie.

    Emmy Lou's Road to Grace George Madden Martin
  • The heavy figure of Doctor Boelke bulged from the front of the howdah.

    The Three Sapphires W. A. Fraser
  • He saw that the man wished him to drop from the howdah and leave the elephant.

    Jack Haydon's Quest John Finnemore
  • "Mr Wargrave, get to the front of the howdah and be ready," she said in a low tone.

    The Jungle Girl

    Gordon Casserly
British Dictionary definitions for howdah


a seat for riding on an elephant's back, esp one with a canopy
Word Origin
C18: from Hindi haudah, from Arabic haudaj load carried by elephant or camel
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for howdah

1774, from Persian and Urdu haudah, from Arabic haudaj "litter carried by a camel" (or elephant).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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