Definition of kirpan in English:



  • A short sword or knife with a curved blade, worn (sometimes in miniature form) as one of the five distinguishing signs of the Sikh Khalsa.

    • ‘Recently, a Sikh student in Montreal was forbidden from attending his school if he wore his kirpan, a dagger Sikhs are obligated to carry as a part of their faith.’
    • ‘Believers also carry a knife - a kirpan - as one of five key emblems of their faith.’
    • ‘The school had banned the kirpan for safety reasons, on grounds that it could be used as a weapon.’
    • ‘The kesh, the kachha, the kara, the kanga and the kirpan are the gifts, chiseled out for the Khalsa, by the divine artist.’
    • ‘Orthodox Sikhs have been required to carry kirpans since the 17th century, and insist it is not a weapon.’


From Punjabi and Hindi kiṛpān, from Sanskrit kṛpāṇa ‘sword’.