Sinhalese


Sinhalese
/sin'heuh leez", -lees"/, adj., n., pl. Sinhalese for 2.
adj.
1. of or pertaining to Sri Lanka, its native people, or their language.
n.
2. a member of the Sinhalese people.
3. an Indic language that is the language of the majority of the population of Sri Lanka, including Colombo. Also, Singhalese.

* * *

Any member of the largest ethnic group of Sri Lanka.

Their ancestors are believed to have come from northern India. Most Sinhalese are agriculturalists, and most adhere to Theravada Buddhism. Like other peoples of Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese have a caste society with a complex structure based largely on occupation. Today the Sinhalese number more than 12 million.

* * *

people
also spelled  Singhalese , or  Cingalese 

      member of a people of Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) who constitute the largest ethnic group of that island. In the early 21st century the Sinhalese were estimated to number about 13.8 million, or 73 percent of the population. Their ancestors are believed to have come from northern India, traditionally in the 5th century BC. Their language belongs to the Indo-European family.

      Most Sinhalese are agriculturalists. The low-country Sinhalese of the southern and western coastal regions have been heavily influenced by European culture, while the Kandyan Sinhalese of the highlands are more traditional. The Sinhalese are Theravada Buddhists except for a Christian minority.

      Like other peoples of Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese have a caste society with a complex structure based largely on occupation. marriage partners are usually taken from persons of the same caste, preferably from the children of the mother's brother or father's sister. Monogamy is the rule, although among the Kandyans a man may occasionally have more than one wife or a woman more than one husband.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sinhalese — (also Singhalese, Sinhala) ► NOUN (pl. same) 1) a member of an Indian people now forming the majority of the population of Sri Lanka. 2) an Indic language spoken by this people. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ relating to the Sinhalese. ORIGIN from Sanskrit, Sri… …   English terms dictionary

  • Sinhalese — [sin΄hə lēz′, sin΄əlēz′; sin΄həlēz′, sin΄əlēs′] adj. [< Sans Siṅhala, Sri Lanka + ESE] of Sri Lanka or its principal people, language, or culture n. 1. pl. Sinhalese a member of the principal people of Sri Lanka 2. the Indo Aryan language of… …   English World dictionary

  • Sinhalese — pertaining to Sri Lanka, 1797, from Skt. Sinhala Sri Lanka, Ceylon, from simhala , lit. of lions, from simhah lion. As the name of a language spoken there, it is attested from 1801 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Sinhalese — is the recommended form of the noun and adjective associated with Sri Lanka, rather than Singalese, Singhalese, and other variants …   Modern English usage

  • Sinhalese — I UK [ˌsɪnhəˈliːz] / US [ˌsɪnhəˈlɪz] noun Word forms Sinhalese : singular Sinhalese plural Sinhalese 1) [countable] a person who is a member of the main group of people who live in Sri Lanka 2) [uncountable] the official language of Sri Lanka II… …   English dictionary

  • Sinhalese — or Singhalese noun (plural Sinhalese or Singhalese) Date: 1598 1. a member of a people that inhabit Sri Lanka and form a major part of its population 2. the Indo Aryan language of the Sinhalese people • Sinhalese or Singhalese adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Sinhalese — Sin|ha|lese [ˌsınhəˈli:z] n plural Sinhalese [Date: 1700 1800; : Sanskrit; Origin: Simhala Sri Lanka ] 1.) someone who belongs to the race of people that forms the largest part of the population in Sri Lanka 2.) [U] the language used by the… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Sinhalese — /sɪnhəˈliz/ (say sinhuh leez) noun 1. (plural Sinhalese) a member of the northern Indian people who migrated to Sri Lanka around 500 BC and now make up the majority of its population. 2. the Sinhalese people collectively. 3. Also, Sinhala. the… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Sinhalese — 1. adjective Of or pertaining to the majority ethnic group of Sri Lanka, their Indo Aryan language, or their culture. 2. noun a) A Sinhalese person: a member of the majority ethnic group of Sri Lanka. b) The Indo Aryan language of the Sinhalese… …   Wiktionary

  • Sinhalese — Sin|ha|lese1 [ ,sınhə liz ] noun 1. ) count a person who is a member of the main group of people who live in Sri Lanka 2. ) uncount the official language of Sri Lanka Sinhalese Sin|ha|lese 2 [ ,sınhə liz ] adjective 1. ) someone who is Sinhalese… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.