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A howdah, or houdah, is a carriage which is positioned on the back of an elephant, or occasionally some other animal, used most often in the past to carry wealthy people or for use in hunting or warfare. It was also a symbol of wealth for the owner, and as a result were decorated with expensive gems.

See also


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

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Wikipedia

An elephant bearing a howdah.

Alternative spellings

Etymology

Hindi hauda, from Arabic هودج (hawdaj), litter carried by a camel). (1774)

Pronunciation

Noun

Singular
howdah

Plural
howdahs

howdah (plural howdahs)

  1. A seat, usually with a canopy, carried on the back of an elephant or camel.
    • 1972: I shot a couple (...) Only from the safety of a howdah, of course. — Patrick O'Brian, Post Captain
    • 1993: I felt the corporeal elephant on whose back my world was supported amble effortlessly along, rather than it being necessary for me to lean out from the howdah of my head and goad him. — Will Self, My Idea of Fun
  2. An ornate carriage which is positioned on the back of elephants or occasionally other animals, used most often in the past for rich people who travelled in India via elephant.

References

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary: Tenth Edition (1997)


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