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 (păl′ən-kēn′, păl′ən-kwĭn) also pal·an·keen (păl′ən-kēn′)
A covered litter carried on poles on the shoulders of multiple bearers, formerly used in southern and eastern Asia.

[Portuguese palanquim, from a modern Indic source such as Hindi pālkī or Oriya pālaṅki, of Middle Indic origin; akin to Prakrit pallaṁka, bed, from Sanskrit paryaṅkaḥ, palyaṅkaḥ, couch, bed, from Sanskrit paryaṅkaḥ, palyaṅkaḥ, couch, bed, of unknown origin.]


(ˌpælənˈkiːn) or


(Historical Terms) a covered litter, formerly used in the Orient, carried on the shoulders of four men
[C16: from Portuguese palanquim, from Prakrit pallanka, from Sanskrit paryanka couch]


or pal•an•keen

(ˌpæl ənˈkin)

an enclosed litter suspended from poles and borne on the shoulders of several men, formerly in use in E Asia.
[1580–90; < Middle French < Dutch pallankin < Portuguese palanquim « Pali pallaṅka, Skt palyaṅka; compare Oriya pālaṅki]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.palanquin - a closed litter carried on the shoulders of four bearerspalanquin - a closed litter carried on the shoulders of four bearers
litter - conveyance consisting of a chair or bed carried on two poles by bearers


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References in classic literature ?
It was a huge vehicle, roomy, as easy in its motion as a palanquin, and exceedingly comfortable.
They were used to jogging off alone through a hundred miles of jungle, where there was always the delightful chance of being delayed by tigers; but they would no more have bathed in the English Channel in an English August than their brothers across the world would have lain still while a leopard snuffed at their palanquin.
Snagsby," says Bucket as a kind of shabby palanquin is borne towards them, surrounded by a noisy crowd.
The Sorceress rode in a beautiful palanquin which was like the body of a coach, having doors and windows with silken curtains; but instead of wheels, which a coach has, the palanquin rested upon two long, horizontal bars, which were borne upon the shoulders of twelve servants.
The Gump flew along slowly at a point directly over the palanquin in which rode the Sorceress.
It is a one-horse palanquin," said the old gentleman, who was a wag in his way.
Perhaps," said Willoughby, "his observations may have extended to the existence of nabobs, gold mohrs, and palanquins.
They were of different sizes, and some had their mahouts or palanquins on their backs.
Formerly one was obliged to travel in India by the old cumbrous methods of going on foot or on horseback, in palanquins or unwieldly coaches; now fast steamboats ply on the Indus and the Ganges, and a great railway, with branch lines joining the main line at many points on its route, traverses the peninsula from Bombay to Calcutta in three days.
I used to dream of white horses and palanquins, too; but still, I like the ink-pots best.
When Lord Hastings disembarks in Lucknow to meet the Nawab of Oudh, the latter comes to receive him and as the book says, " The principal members of the party travelled by elephant, camel, horseback, palanquin and all the other means of transport employed in early 19th century India.
Vali's corpse is borne aloft by fellow monkeys in a palanquin which is then placed on the funeral pyre and set alight.