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A ravine or gully, especially in southern Asia.
[Bengali and Hindi nālā, channel, nullah, and similar forms in other Indic languages, all from Middle Indic nāḷa, nāla, hollow stalk, tube, from Sanskrit nāḍaḥ, from naḍaḥ, reed, variant (perhaps influenced by Dravidian words akin to Kannada naḷ, reed) of nadaḥ; akin to Persian nay, reed, flute, Armenian net, arrow, and Hittite nātaš, reed, arrow, and perhaps further akin to Sanskrit nadati, he roars, howls, cries.]
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.
(Physical Geography) a stream or drain
[C18: from Hindi nālā]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
or na•la(ˈnʌl ə)
n., pl. -lahs or -las. (esp. in S Asia)
a gully or ravine.
[1770–80; < Hindi nālā brook, ravine]
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