or bak·shish, bak·shis

[bak-sheesh, bak-sheesh](in the Near and Middle East)


a tip, present, or gratuity.

verb (used with or without object)

to give a tip.

Origin of baksheesh

First recorded in 1615–25, baksheesh is from the Persian word bakhshish gift Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for baksheesh

Historical Examples of baksheesh

  • Those incapables had no doubt been after David for baksheesh, and he felt just that way.

    The Ship Dwellers

    Albert Bigelow Paine

  • Still, I am sorry now I didn't contribute the baksheesh he expected.

    The Ship Dwellers

    Albert Bigelow Paine

  • The first word these loons pronounce after coming into the world must be baksheesh.

    Romantic Spain

    John Augustus O'Shea

  • The next best thing to do is to forget the wish, pay two-pence in baksheesh and ride away to get the most of a glorious view.

    The Walls of Constantinople

    Bernard Granville Baker

  • For the first two years of war he kept out of the army by means of baksheesh.

British Dictionary definitions for baksheesh



(in some Eastern countries, esp formerly)


money given as a tip, a present, or alms


to give such money to (a person)

Word Origin for baksheesh

C17: from Persian bakhshīsh, from bakhshīdan to give; related to Sanskrit bhaksati he enjoys
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

Word Origin and History for baksheesh

1620s, in India, Egypt, etc., "a tip," from Persian bakhshish, literally "gift," from verb bakhshidan "to give" (also "to forgive"), from PIE root *bhag- "to share out, apportion, distribute" (see -phagous).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper