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or pun·kah  (pŭng′kə)
A fan used especially in India, made of a palm frond or strip of cloth hung from the ceiling and moved by a servant.

[Hindi paṅkhá, from Sanskrit pakṣakaḥ, fan, from pakṣaḥ, wing.]
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.


(ˈpʌŋ kə)

n., pl. -kahs.
(esp. in colonial India) a fan consisting of a wooden frame covered with cloth and hung from the ceiling, set in motion by pulling a cord.
[1615–25; < Hindi paṅkhāIndo-Aryan]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.punkah - a large fan consisting of a frame covered with canvas that is suspended from the ceiling; used in India for circulating air in a room
fan - a device for creating a current of air by movement of a surface or surfaces
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
I retreated from there, and cross- ing the dining room--a very bare apartment with a motionless punkah hanging over the centre table --I knocked at a door labelled in black letters: "Chief Steward."
The tiffin was laid on one end only of the long table, and the punkah was stirring the hot air lazily--mostly above a barren waste of polished wood.
He cast his eyes up to the punkah and that was all.
Enor- mous punkahs sent from on high a gentle draught through that immaculate interior and upon our perspiring heads.
But that was very long ago,' he made as to brush it all away with a thin brown hand - 'and since then, and especially in the nights under the punkah at the madrissah, I have thought very greatly.'
Change of scene, service, and surroundings were the breath of his little nostrils, and thinking of the neat white cots of St Xavier's all arow under the punkah gave him joy as keen as the repetition of the multiplication-table in English.
Between them a waggling punkah fanned twenty cane-bottomed chairs and two rows of shiny plates.
The punkah-coolies who pull the punkahs day and night came to know Garin intimately.
"He spoke more fluent Urdu than the Indian actors who played the Punkah Wallah and the Char Wallah."