Definition of mudaliyar in US English:

mudaliyar

noun

  • 1In Sri Lanka: a headman, a chief; a chief military officer. Now historical.

  • 2Chiefly in forms Mudaliar, mudaliar. A relatively high-status Tamil caste of the Sudra class, traditionally the fourth of the main Hindu classes of India; a member of this caste.

Origin

Mid 17th century; earliest use found in John Davies (1625–1693), translator. From Tamil mutaliyār, plural of mutali a chief from mutal best.