Definition of kumkum in US English:

kumkum

noun

  • A red powder used ceremonially and cosmetically, especially by Hindu women to make a small distinctive mark on the forehead.

    • ‘‘Wearing kumkum or sandalwood paste need not be abandoned,’ they said.’
    • ‘I wore a black shirt and dhoti (a wrap-around waist cloth) and applied sandalwood paste and kumkum (red powder) to my forehead.’
    • ‘Women apply kumkum on the foreheads of their sons and husbands and send them to fight battles.’
    • ‘In the busy commercial streets of the city you will find huge pumpkins broken to pieces and scattered on the road, some smeared with kumkum.’

Origin

From Sanskrit kuṅkuma ‘saffron’.

Pronunciation

kumkum

/ˈko͝omˌko͝om/