Definition of Bengali in US English:


nounPlural Bengalis

  • 1A native or inhabitant of Bengal.

    • ‘As with other Hindus, Bengalis cremate the dead.’
    • ‘Then, in varying degrees, came the turn of the Bengalis, the Mohajirs and the Sindhis, and the Baloches.’
    • ‘I am a Bengali and the centre really helped me because all kinds of people mix here, Bengalis and Pakistanis and other Asians.’
    • ‘This perception refers to the fact that Bengal was the first imperial bridgehead in India and Bengalis the first group of Indians who took to English education.’
    • ‘The Indian Bengalis and the Bengali expatriates all over the world would pay almost anything to have Hilsha in their plate.’
    • ‘We have come a long way from 1978, when violence against Asians was so alarming that 10,000 Bengalis marched from Whitechapel to Whitehall to protest against the murder of a garment worker near Brick Lane.’
    • ‘The Hindu Bengalis were the first Indians to master the English language and to learn their master's ways, the first to flatter him by emulation, and the first to earn his distrust by unbidden demonstrations of wit and industry.’
    • ‘Expatriates from the Indian subcontinent staff stores, Bengalis cut hair in countless barbershops, and groups of Somali youth offer to wash your car at busy urban parking lots.’
    • ‘‘What you see today is a result of the initiative of the families resettled here,’ said a group of Bengalis.’
    • ‘They raise their family in the Massachusetts suburbs, where they form a close circle of friends with other émigré Bengalis.’
    • ‘Though Dhaka, a chaotic megacity with a population uncountably north of 10 million, dominates the political life of the nation, 80 percent of Bengalis still live in rural areas.’
    • ‘Then there was the ‘Gajan Dance’ that signifies the year-end for the Bengalis and is meant to be a tribute to goddess Durga in the month of Chaitra (March-April).’
    • ‘Following the demolition, there was a gradual migration north to the Commercial Road area and, by the middle of the 1960s, many Bengalis were settling around Brick Lane.’
    • ‘Today, I can't make films only for the Bengalis, it must be for a wider audience, not only at home but also people spread across the world in these globalised times.’
    • ‘Some of the most populous Indian groups within the United States are Gujaratis, Bengalis, Punjabis, Marathis, and Tamils.’
    • ‘In the north, Bengalis, Kashmiris, Punjabis, Gujaratis, Rajputs, and Marathas are among the prominent groups.’
    • ‘Today, it is estimated that there are 240 Bengalis in the city, around 80 families, with a majority of them employed at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.’
    • ‘With the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, official records were of emigration from that country, separate from that of Indians and Bengalis.’
    • ‘We had Bengalis, Pakistanis, Somalis and, of course, white working class people.’
    • ‘Many homesick Bengalis in Bangalore have discovered a small restaurant tucked away in the heart of the Majestic area that gives them a taste of home-cooked food.’
  • 2An Indic language spoken in Bangladesh and parts of northeastern India, written in a script similar to the Devanagari script.

    • ‘Thus Tagore never wrote fiction or poetry in any language other than Bengali.’
    • ‘But one or two were very intelligent and any that could talk could speak at least English and Bengali - some could speak up to 5 languages.’
    • ‘Though Begum Azad has sung in other languages including Bengali, Hindi, Urdu and Telugu, it is her mother-tongue that she is most comfortable with.’
    • ‘This polyglot is not only fluent in these two languages but also in Bengali, Hindi, Tamil (his mother tongue) and English.’
    • ‘An additional 439,239 people reported speaking other Indic languages, such as Punjabi, Bengali and Malayalam.’
    • ‘But in recent years, store signs in Polish have been joined by signs written in Bengali and Arabic.’
    • ‘Information will be given out either through audio or visual means in languages including Urdu, Mirpuri Punjabi, Bengali, Gujerati and Chinese.’
    • ‘Italian and German don't even make it into the top ten of world languages - unlike Arabic, Malay or Bengali.’
    • ‘The children are expected to know everything in two languages - Bengali and English.’
    • ‘The charity has staff who can speak various languages including Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati and Chinese.’
    • ‘The community researchers translated the tapes in Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, and Sylheti into English.’
    • ‘He is a linguist and fluently speaks in Urdu, Persian, Tamil, Nepali, Bengali, Hindi and Assamese, besides English and Khasi languages.’
    • ‘Clearly Hasina is writing in Bengali, her mother tongue.’
    • ‘Raised in Seattle, she remembers Bengali simply as the language her parents argued in.’
    • ‘She could read and write Bengali, Gujarati, English and Hindi of course was her natural medium of expression.’
    • ‘Though English continues to be a strong second language in Bangladesh, Bengali is the official language of government and education.’
    • ‘Directions are given in English, Gujarati, Urdu or Bengali, depending on which card the user is carrying.’
    • ‘They speak mainly Nepali but also understand Hindi, Bengali and English.’
    • ‘His works have been translated into numerous Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali and Malayalam.’
    • ‘We meet children who speak Bengali, English, and Welsh, reminding us that, in fact, 70% of the world is multilingual; it is only in England where this seems unusual.’


  • Relating to Bengal, its people, or their language.

    • ‘During the course of the event, the conversation between Tagore and Einstein will be broadcast, Baul and Bengali songs will be preformed and there will be a virtual string quartet.’
    • ‘Having shot into prominence when it seemed that Bengali cinema too was going the Bollywood way, Ghosh managed to stay in the commercial realm and made films with living, breathing characters a success.’
    • ‘The aim is to offer traditional Bengali cuisine.’
    • ‘There is a huge market for Bengali cinema in other states.’
    • ‘The most striking thing of the show was that there were Bengali folk songs playing in the background which blended extremely well with the festivity.’
    • ‘The restaurant offers the usual range of balti and Bengali dishes and curries, as well as a comprehensive selection of house specialities and chef's recommendations.’
    • ‘She developed a fascination with the sub-continent while teaching Bengali children at a school and had twice been to Bangladesh teaching on working delegations with her friend.’
    • ‘Bangladesh, which means the ‘Land of the Bengalis’ in the Bengali language, is a republic located in Southeast Asia.’
    • ‘In doing this, he was also aware of our limited film stock and the budgetary constraints anyone working in Bengali films then had to be careful about.’
    • ‘To ensure that the girls know and understand their own Bangladeshi culture local Bangladeshi artists and musicians conduct classes in drawing, singing, dancing and recitation of Bengali poems.’
    • ‘The collection is impressive, ranging from relics of the Gandhara colony established by Alexander the Great, through ancient Bengali sculpture, Moghul paintings to Hindu sculpture.’
    • ‘The restaurant specialises in northern Indian and Bengali cooking, and tries to offer a mixture of traditional favourites and new takes on old dishes, all made with locally sourced ingredients.’
    • ‘I have done a lot of art films in the past and have signed two more Bengali period films.’
    • ‘The play centres around two Bengali lovers, Ela and Atindra.’
    • ‘But it will also depend on how you see the people living in Bengali villages.’
    • ‘The six-storey complex houses a plethora of Bengali community associations, a mosque, two boys' schools, a gym, several lecture halls.’
    • ‘They also played some Bengali songs low in the background.’
    • ‘The 34-year-old Bengali beauty with the voice of a nightingale, started her career as a music teacher.’
    • ‘And the Bangladeshi channels now have to be helped by all quarters to provide more entertaining programs, which represent Bengali culture and uphold our interest.’
    • ‘These two will be followed by the launch of four specialised channels in all the four southern languages, and also a Bengali channel.’


From Hindi baṅgālī.