Definition of Gurkha in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɡʊəkə//ˈɡəːkə/


  • 1A member of any of several peoples of Nepal noted for their military prowess.

    • ‘While giving them full space and credit, Carlyon makes it plain that the Australians and New Zealanders formed a minority among their allies of British, French, Indians, Sikhs and Gurkhas.’
    • ‘One of the most respected steel weapons is that of the Gurkhas called a Kukri.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, up on the spur itself the Gurkhas and Pathans moved in to oust the Tibetans from their stone defences and on the right flank opposite Ottley's Mounted Infantry did the same.’
    • ‘Give just and fair recognition, yes; but, while automatic citizenship may reward the individual, is it actually doing something good for the Gurkhas - and Nepal as a nation?’
    • ‘When Lumley's parents wanted to talk privately, they would speak very fast, her mother conversing in Urdu and her father, a Gurkha, answering in Gurkhali.’
    • ‘Other groups with their own traditions and culinary tastes include the Gurkhas and the Sherpas.’
    • ‘Other diversions included jungle training with the Gurkhas, diving expeditions, sailing, golf, rugby, soccer and hockey.’
    • ‘Because of their Hindu religion, which reveres the cow as a sacred animal, the Gurkhas have been assigned only to the sheep slaughter duties.’
    • ‘The Gurkhas have earned their fame and have made their mythical and legendary figure toward the world.’
    • ‘It has Everest, the Gurkhas, tourists and back packers but not much else apart from scenery.’
    • ‘Among the Gurkhas my name means absolutely nothing, and I like that because it means I can just be me.’
    • ‘In the early nineteenth century the Garwhal hills were not only remote and physically challenging: they were a dangerous border region in which the British and the Gurkhas of Katmandu vied for power in a series of almost daily skirmishes.’
    • ‘The Mahars have done this so why can't we Gurkhas do that or more, an angry CO might tell his company commander manning a forward post.’
    1. 1.1 A member of a regiment in the British army established specifically for Nepalese recruits in the mid 19th century.
      • ‘Most Gurkhas return to Nepal - which is currently in the midst of a Maoist insurgency - at the end of their service.’
      • ‘The offer had caused some embarrassment because the Gurkhas were the main force deployed by Britain against Indonesian forces who tried to take over Brunei in the early 1960s.’
      • ‘The latest round of operational honours include a sergeant who carried on firing with his good arm after being shot and a Gurkha who saved an American officer.’
      • ‘The Brigade of Gurkhas now numbers some 3,400, following restructuring and the withdrawal of the garrison from Hong Kong.’
      • ‘The Queen's Gurkhas were out from the UK, and I think we have had a recent visit from those chaps.’
      • ‘More recently, the Gurkhas have served in U.N. peacekeeping missions in East Timor, Rwanda and Lebanon.’
      • ‘The future of the Brigade of Gurkhas is a matter of greater concern to many in Nepal than pensions.’
      • ‘We were supporting New Zealand tank forces and a detachment of Gurkhas.’
      • ‘I believe that the UK's treatment of the Gurkhas over the years has been a national disgrace.’
      • ‘Britain's Ministry of Defense argues that the pension rates for Gurkha soldiers are more than adequate, as most Gurkhas retire back to Nepal where the cost of living is much lower than in Britain.’
      • ‘The event originated in Hong Kong in 1981 as a military training exercise for the Gurkhas.’
      • ‘Watched over by Gurkhas, he was finally brought into the building.’
      • ‘Being a Gurkha is a badge of honour in Nepal, it is an extremely competitive process where the young men vie with a ratio of 1 to 100 for their position and an average of only 120 will be selected.’
      • ‘Citizenship is important for retired Gurkhas, because if they return to Nepal on a family visit, they risk being blocked by immigration on their return to Britain.’
      • ‘The Gurkha told him he was struggling to support his wife and son at their home in Hounslow, west London.’
      • ‘George Evans has had a half century's involvement with Nepal, both as an Officer in the Gurkhas and as a correspondent.’
      • ‘He studied Geography at Durham University from 1981 to 1983, then served with the Green Howards and the 10th Gurkhas.’
      • ‘Former Gurkhas from Nepal who served with the British Army yesterday accused the Ministry of Defence of ‘irrational and discriminatory’ treatment over their pay and conditions.’
      • ‘I think that it's high time that the Gurkhas received the same wages as their British fellow soldiers.’
      • ‘The Nepal Ex-Servicemen's Association, supported by the Nepali Congress Party claims that 35,000 Gurkhas are living in poverty on a meagre monthly pension barely sufficient to buy square meals.’


Name of a locality, from Sanskrit gorakṣa ‘cowherd’ (from go ‘cow’ + rakṣ- ‘protect’), used as an epithet of their patron deity.