Definition of Bhil in English:


(also Bheel)


  • A member of an indigenous people of central India.

    • ‘The Bhils, who are the most individualistic of tribals, prefer to live in their own little family ‘falia’ on top of a hillock isolated from other villagers, are not a gregarious tribe, unlike the Gonds.’
    • ‘For the Bhil, Pavra, Tadvi, Mavchi and Kokni tribals of Nandurbar, the death of cattle or other domestic animals, land disputes and the refusal of a woman to have a sexual relationship are reason enough to brand someone a dakin or witch.’
    • ‘Perched at a crest about 1,500 feet above sea level, the Dangs have since time immemorial been inhabited by aboriginal tribes such as the Bhils and Kunbis, also known as Kukanas in Dharampur area, Warlis and Gamits.’
    • ‘Between Harda and Omkareshwar, and again between Badwani and Tanchala, steep, forested hills close in once more, mainly inhabited by tribal or adivasi peoples - the Kols, Gonds, Korkus, Bhils and Bhilalas.’
    • ‘One factor that distinguishes these Gond people from the Bhils is their longer residence-three to four generations - in this same area.’


  • Relating to the Bhils.

    • ‘Though of Bhil origin and accustomed to ghunghat, (covering their faces) they had become more assertive.’
    • ‘I will begin with a small, relatively isolated community consisting of Bhil tribal people who recently settled on a small area of marginal, hilly land somewhat apart from other villages.’
    • ‘The Bhil community, on the other hand, is still working through its first displaced generation, now just learning from scratch how to come to terms with its new environment.’
    • ‘Among them, the poorest were Bhil tribals, who could seldom afford to buy their full quota.’
    • ‘In many of the rebellions, the Adivasis could not be subdued, but terminated the struggle only because the British acceded to their immediate demands, as in the case of the Bhil revolt of 1809 and the Naik revolt of 1838 in Gujarat.’


From Hindi Bhīl, from Sanskrit Bhilla.