Digital Dictionaries of South Asia
Front Matter
Title Page Order of Entries
Preface Abbreviations



South Asia Regional Studies
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia


This dictionary is intended for the adult student learning Marathi through the medium of English. It contains approximately 10,000 entries, most of which are basic words from which others can be derived.

This dictionary grew out of our work of preparing the glossaries of An Intermediate Marathi Reader and An Advanced Marathi Reader.

The words included here constitute a basic vocabulary of Marathi. We have tried to give the current meanings of the words, dropping the meanings which have gone out of use.

In some cases our definitions are more colloquial than those generally found in dictionaries. We feel that a colloquial expression can best be defined by using a roughly equivalent English colloquialism.

We have also adopted one convention that may take some getting used to: for some Marathi adjectives we have given English nouns as the equivalents. This seemed preferable to giving the grammatically more exact but awkward adjectival equivalents.

To help the beginning student we have tried to give other grammatical information besides the part of speech of each word. Irregular verbs are noted, as well as the subclass of feminine nouns. Derivational affixes are also given as separate entries. For some words, phrases in which they occur have also been given.

In determining the part of speech for some words, we had some problems. It is sometimes difficult, for instance, to distinguish between an invariant adjective and an adverb. Similarly, it is difficult to decide whether some words are adjectives or nouns. There was also the problem of deciding whether old case forms like the locative should be designated as adverbs or as locatives of nouns. For some of these doubtful points it was not possible to follow a consistent policy.

This dictionary is limited in its scope, but should be useful for the beginning student of Marathi.

Phaltan/District Satara Maharashtra, India

Maxine Berntsen
Jai Nimbkar


This volume has been made possible through the cooperation of several institutions and a number of individuals. The project was financed by the U. S. Office of Education through a contract with the University of Pennsylvania. It was administered in India by the American Institute of Indian Studies, and the research was conducted under the auspices of the Deccan College, Poona. We are grateful to all these organizations for their help and cooperation. Special thanks are due to Dr. Julia A. Petrov of the Office of Education, Dr. Richard D. Limbert of the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. A. M. Ghatage of the Deccan College.

Special thanks are due to Ku. Nandini Nimbkar whose competent assistance considerbly lightened the task of checking and cross-checking and to Dr. D. D. Karve for his invaluable help in proofreading.

The demanding task of bilingual typing was done by Shri. A. S. Mokashi. Printing was done by C. S. Latkar of the Kalpana Mudranalaya.

Order of Entries

Entries are arranged according to the traditional order of the Devanagari script

क्ष ज्ञ

In alphabetizing, the anusvar and visərgə have been ignored. However, if two words are identical except that one has an anusvar and one does not, the one without the anusvar comes first. ऍ़ and follow .

A conjunct consonant follows the full consonant and its complete vowel series. For instance क्य will come after the series क का कि की कु कू क्लृ के कै को कौ.

As there is considerable variety in Marathi spelling, a student should learn to anticipate the most common variations. This will enable him to locate words spelled in the dictionary in a different way from his original text. Some of the most common variations are listed below.

यी वू ये वो or यी

There is also considerable variation in the placement of , especially between vowels. For instance, one may find राहणे, रहाणे, or राहाणे.

Verbs are given in their traditional citation forms, e. g, जाणे, येणे. Variable adjectives are given in the neuter singular.


abbrev. abbreviation
adj. adjective
adv. adverb
arch. archaic
C. colloquial
cf. compare
chem. chemistry
conj. conjunction
cpd. compound
def. definition
der. derived
e. g. for instance
Eng. English
esp. especially
etc. et cetera
f. feminine
f. (e) feminine, (e) class
f. (i) feminine, (i) class
geom. geometry
gram. grammar
hon. honorific
imit. imitative
impers. impersonal
interj. interjection
inv. invariant
irreg. irregular
lit. literally
lit. crit. literary criticism
loc. locative
m. masculine
math. mathematics
n. neuter
N noun
NS non-standard
obl. oblique
opp. opposite
p. person
perf. perfect
phys. physics
pl. plural
poss. possessive
post. postposition
pref. prefix
pres. present
pron. pronoun
R rural
redupl. reduplication
rel. relative
sg. singular
sp. special
suff. suffix
V verb
var. variant
v.i. intransitive verb
v.t. transitive verb
voc. vocative
0 This sign is used to indicate repetition of the word being defined.