Definition of pukka in English:


(also pukkah)


  • 1Genuine.

    ‘the more expensive brands are pukka natural mineral waters’
    • ‘When talking tipple, the conversation invariably turns to bubbly - carbonated, spritzed, Cap Classique or the real thing, pukka Champagne from France.’
    • ‘But we persuaded Gil we were actually pukka, so he allowed us to interview him.’
    • ‘A capacity crowd on the Friday night were in top voice to ensure that the show swung along to the accompaniment of cheers, boos and ‘behind you’ as every pukka pantomime should.’
    • ‘This is your real pukka darts board, mind you, as seen on TV and everything.’
    • ‘Punters are being warned that buying tickets from illegitimate online sources will cost them almost 70 per cent more than buying pukka tickets.’
    genuine, authentic, proper, actual, real, true, bona fide, veritable, original, not copied, legitimate
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    1. 1.1 Of or appropriate to high or respectable society.
      ‘it wouldn't be considered the pukka thing to do’
      • ‘We were one of only two sets of diners that night; the others were an elderly and rather pukka couple who spent much of the evening talking loudly about the need to tell Hamish to prune their hedge and dredge the ha-ha.’
      • ‘I've no pukkah university bred accent and belong to no high-powered ‘old boys network.’’
      • ‘The pukka school, which charges parents 18,750 a year to take the weans off their hands, is going through troubled times.’
      • ‘‘He is very pukka, from upper middle class North Indian stock,’ one friend said.’
      • ‘Heat-jaded Sahibs and Memsahibs came here to escape the coast's hottest months, they invented snooker at the pukka Ooty Club and came to gossip at Charing Cross - locations were named by the British.’
      respectable, decorous, proper, genteel, formal, polite, conventional, right, correct, accepted, presentable, decent, smart
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  • 2British Excellent.

    ‘hey, man, that shirt's pukka’
    • ‘Khan says that the mafia has not only encroached the land by keeping articles of his bidi and cigarette shop but also has done some pucka construction work.’
    • ‘Once you've seen someone naff wearing the goods, they just aren't pukka any more, not matter how expensive.’


Late 17th century: from Hindi pakkā ‘cooked, ripe, substantial’.