or pun·ka



(especially in India) a fan, especially a large, swinging, screenlike fan hung from the ceiling and moved by a servant or by machinery.


of, pertaining to, used on, or working a punkah: punkah ropes.

Origin of punkah

First recorded in 1615–25, punkah is from the Hindi word paṅkhā
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for punkah

Historical Examples of punkah

  • The absence of a punkah, a necessity to which he was accustomed, was also a trial.

    From Jungle to Java

    Arthur Keyser

  • He discovered, too, that it was a good thing to lie in the wave of air under the punkah.

    Actions and Reactions

    Rudyard Kipling

  • The punkah, a necessary appendage of every house, is worthy of description.

    Mark Seaworth

    William H.G. Kingston

  • The nights are dreadful—all for want of a punkah—and hardly any of us get a wink of sleep.

    Up the Country

    Emily Eden

  • Over the bed was a punkah, which was immediately set in motion.