• synonyms


  1. Hindi Bha·rat [buh-ruht] /ˈbʌ rʌt/. a republic in S Asia: a union comprising 25 states and 7 union territories; formerly a British colony; gained independence Aug. 15, 1947; became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations Jan. 26, 1950. 1,246,880 sq. mi. (3,229,419 sq. km). Capital: New Delhi.
  2. a subcontinent in S Asia, occupied by Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Republic of India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sikkim.
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Origin of India1

before 1000; < Latin < Greek Indía, equivalent to Ind(ós) “the Indus river” (< Old Persian Hindu literally, “the river”; cognate with Sanskrit sindhu) + -ia -ia


  1. a word used in communications to represent the letter I.
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Origin of India2

First recorded in 1950–55
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for india

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He was far from expecting to meet him on shipboard bound to India.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • They were both just back from India, and natty-lookin' chaps as you ever saw.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • If Egypt were their object, before I could hear of them they would have been in India.

  • The information which by this means reached India was of great importance.

  • What he wanted to know was the precise area of India in square miles.

    American Notes

    Rudyard Kipling

British Dictionary definitions for india


  1. a republic in S Asia: history dates from the Indus Valley civilization (3rd millennium bc); came under British supremacy in 1763 and passed to the British Crown in 1858; nationalist movement arose under Gandhi (1869–1948); Indian subcontinent divided into Pakistan (Muslim) and India (Hindu) in 1947; became a republic within the Commonwealth in 1950. It consists chiefly of the Himalayas, rising over 7500 m (25 000 ft) in the extreme north, the Ganges plain in the north, the Thar Desert in the northwest, the Chota Nagpur plateau in the northeast, and the Deccan Plateau in the south. Official and administrative languages: Hindi and English; each state has its own language. Parts of the SE coast suffered badly in the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. Religion: Hindu majority, Muslim minority. Currency: rupee. Capital: New Delhi. Pop: 1 220 800 359 (2013 est). Area: 3 268 100 sq km (1 261 813 sq miles)Hindi name: Bharat
  2. communications a code word for the letter i
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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 india


Old English, from Latin India, from Greek India "region of the Indus River," later used of the region beyond it, from Indos "Indus River," from Old Persian Hindu, the name for the province of Sind, from Sanskrit sindhu "river." The more common Middle English form was Ynde or Inde, From French (see Indies). India began to prevail 16c., perhaps under Spanish or Portuguese influence.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

india in Culture


Republic in southern Asia. Its capital is New Delhi, and its largest city is Calcutta.

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India is the second most populous country in the world, after China.


British control of India began in 1757 and did not end until the dissolution of the British regime, or Raj, in 1947, when India was divided into India and Pakistan.


Mahatma Gandhi led the movement for Indian independence through passive resistance to British rule. He was killed by a fanatic in 1948.


The country is marked by conflict between the Hindu and Muslim populations and violence between castes.


Despite world disapproval, in 1998 India successfully conducted nuclear bomb tests. Pakistan did the same two weeks later. (See Kashmir.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.