noun, plural ba·hu·vri·his.

Grammar. a compound noun or adjective consisting of two constituents, the first of which is adjectival and describes the person or object denoted by the second, which is nominal: the compound as a whole denotes or describes a person or object having what is denoted by the second element, as bonehead, heavy-handed, redcoat.

Nearby words

  1. bahraini,
  2. bahrein,
  3. baht,
  4. bahu,
  5. bahut,
  6. bahía blanca,
  7. bahía de cochinos,
  8. bahía, islas de la,
  9. bai,
  10. baia mare

Origin of bahuvrihi

1840–50; < Sanskrit: literally, having much rice, equivalent to bahu- much + vrīhi rice; used to name the type of compound word of which it is an example Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bahuvrihi


noun linguistics

a class of compound words consisting of two elements the first of which is a specific feature of the second
a compound word of this type, such as hunchback, bluebell, highbrow

Word Origin for bahuvrihi

C19: from Sanskrit bahuvrīhi, itself this type of compound, from bahu much + vrīh rice

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