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also Ved·dah  (vĕd′ə)
n. pl. Vedda or Ved·das also Veddah or Ved·dahs
A member of the earliest people of Sri Lanka, originally forest-dwelling hunters but now almost completely assimilated into the modern Sinhalese population.

[Sinhalese vädda, perhaps from Middle Indic vajjita-, excluded, from Sanskrit varjita-, past passive participle of varjayati, he avoids, shuns, causative of vṛṇakti, he bends, turns.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈvɛdə) or


n, pl -da, -das, -dah or -dahs
(Peoples) a member of an aboriginal people of Sri Lanka, characterized by slender build, dark complexion, and wavy hair, noted for their Stone Age technology
[C17: from Sinhalese: hunter, of Dravidian origin]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
(36) Besides this Indo-Aryan influence, an element of southern India, called Vedda, was also seen as part of the racial make-up of the archipelago and conceptualised with features such as dark skin and wavy hair.
Optimizing food and nutrition through local products educates students on foods produced in the state of Oklahoma and encourages entrepreneurship for local businesses, said Vedda Hsu, University Dining Services associate director.
(139) Moretti, F., Patton, G., Belsky, A., Fasoli, M., Vedda, A., Trevisani, M.
Vedda (Eds.), Observaciones urbanas: Walter Benjamin y las nuevas ciudades (pp.
En Perspectivas actuales de la investigacion literaria, editado por Martin Ciordia, Americo Cristofalo, Leonardo Funes, Miguel Vedda y Miguel Vitagliano.
"A diverse and multicultural country, Sri Lanka is home to many religions, ethnic groups, and languages," De Silva said in her speech, "In addition to the majority Sinhalese, it is home to large groups of Sri Lankan and Indian Tamils, Moors, Burghers, Malays, Kaffirs and the aboriginal Vedda. Sri Lanka has a rich Buddhist heritage, and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pali Canon, dates back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC."
Like many anthropologists of their era they were looking for 'older strata' in current populations and considered the Vedda of Ceylon as a more ancient race than the surrounding Sinha or Tamil people.