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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Wearing kumkum or sandalwood paste need not be abandoned,’ they said.’

Origin

From Sanskrit kuṅkuma ‘saffron’.

Pronunciation

kumkum

/ˈko͝omˌko͝om/