• synonyms


or pal·an·keen

[pal-uh n-keen]
See more synonyms for palanquin on Thesaurus.com
  1. (formerly in India and other Eastern countries) a passenger conveyance, usually for one person, consisting of a covered or boxlike litter carried by means of poles resting on the shoulders of several men.
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Origin of palanquin

1580–90; < Middle French < Dutch pallankin < Portuguese palanquimPali pallaṅka, Sanskrit palyaṅka; compare Oriya pālaṅki
Related formspal·an·quin·er, pal·an·keen·er, nounpal·an·quin·ing·ly, pal·an·keen·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for palanquin

wagon, truck, rickshaw, buggy, dray, gig, dolly, barrow, pushcart, handcart, tumbrel, palanquin, wheelbarrow, gurney, curricle, tilbury, two-wheeler

Examples from the Web for palanquin

Historical Examples of palanquin

  • I had been trying to see the person who sat in the palanquin.

    The Room in the Dragon Volant

    J. Sheridan LeFanu

  • When their master's palanquin passed, they bowed their heads to the dust, as was proper.

    Japanese Fairy World

    William Elliot Griffis

  • They had with them a god, which they were carrying in a palanquin.

    India and the Indians

    Edward F. Elwin

  • There they set down the palanquin with the queen in it, and started home again.

  • The palanquin is carried by porters—just as in the drawing given above.

British Dictionary definitions for palanquin



  1. a covered litter, formerly used in the Orient, carried on the shoulders of four men
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Word Origin for palanquin

C16: from Portuguese palanquim, from Prakrit pallanka, from Sanskrit paryanka couch
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 palanquin


"a covered litter," 1580s, from Portuguese palanquim (early 16c.), from Malay and Javanese palangki "litter, sedan," ultimately from Sanskrit palyanka-s "couch, bed, litter," from pari "around" + ancati "it bends, curves," related to anka-s "a bend, hook, angle," and meaning, perhaps, "that which bends around the body." Some have noted the "curious coincidence" of Spanish palanca, from Latin phalanga "pole to carry a burden."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper