[til-uh k]

noun, plural til·ak, til·aks.

a distinctive spot of colored powder or paste worn on the forehead by Hindu men and women as a religious symbol.

Origin of tilak

From the Sanskrit word tilaka
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tilak

Historical Examples of tilak

  • It is a very different influence from that of Mr. Tilak, to whom he is sometimes, but quite wrongly, compared.

    India, Old and New

    Sir Valentine Chirol

  • Mr. Tilak belonged by birth to a powerful Deccani Brahman caste with hereditary traditions of rulership.

    India, Old and New

    Sir Valentine Chirol

  • His private life is unimpeachable—the only point indeed in which Mr. Tilak resembled him.

    India, Old and New

    Sir Valentine Chirol

  • But my revered friend, Mr. Tilak said that this scheme is very much better than the Bengal scheme or any other scheme.

    India for Indians

    C. R. (Chittaranjan) Das

  • His associates asked him why he had dared to alter his tilak or sect-mark.

British Dictionary definitions for tilak


noun plural -ak or -aks

a coloured spot or mark worn by Hindus, esp on the forehead, often indicating membership of a religious sect, caste, etc, or (in the case of a woman) marital status

Word Origin for tilak

from Sanskrit tilaka



Bal Gangadhar (ˈbæl ˈɡæŋədɑː), also called Lokamanya. 1856–1920, Indian nationalist leader, educationalist, and scholar, who founded (1914) the Indian Home Rule League
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