One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in South Asia) a large building divided into many separate tenements, offering cheap, basic accommodation to labourers.
- ‘They lived together in a room apartment in a chawl owned by the local touts.’
- ‘For the first time, Muslim women from the chawls and slums came forward said Irfan.’
- ‘When the textile mills were set up in Bombay the employers were required to provide housing in the form of chawls for their workers.’
- ‘He has not forgotten the crowded chawl he lived in before he got his first break.’
- ‘And we, who reside in the overcrowded chawls, we simply live.’
From Marathi cāḷ, denoting a long narrow building.
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