[sin-huh-leez, -lees]
noun, plural Sin·ha·lese for 2.
  1. a member of the Sinhalese people.
  2. an Indic language that is the language of the majority of the population of Sri Lanka, including Colombo. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for sinhalese


Singhalese or Sinhala

  1. plural -leses or -lese a member of a people living chiefly in Sri Lanka, where they constitute the majority of the population
  2. the language of this people, belonging to the Indic branch of the Indo-European family: the official language of Sri Lanka. It is written in a script of Indian origin
  1. of or relating to this people or their language
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 sinhalese



also Singhalese, "pertaining to Sri Lanka," 1797, from Sanskrit Sinhala "Sri Lanka, Ceylon," from simhala-, literally "of lions," from simhah "lion." As the name of a language spoken there, it is attested from 1801.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper