Definition of mahua in English:


(also mahwa)


  • 1An Indian tree which has fleshy edible flowers and yields oil-rich seeds.

    • ‘Every part of the famed illupai tree (Madhuca longifolia, mahua in Hindi, or ‘butter tree ‘) can be used.’
    • ‘The women also pick up mahua, a kind of flower with which they make liquor.’
    • ‘Access to products like mahua (butter tree), tendu leaf and edible gum is a matter of life and death to the tribals.’
    1. 1.1 An alcoholic drink produced from the nectar-rich flowers of this tree.
      • ‘He retained mahua liquor and tribal sensuality, but brought in the prissiness of the urban middleclass, plus his own reticence.’
      • ‘Lawrence [went] to the wilds of Purulia where he set up home with a Santhal woman, ate begun-pora and drank mahua religiously each evening.’


Late 17th century: via Hindi from Sanskrit madhūka, from madhu ‘sweet’.