Definition of pukka in US English:


(also pukkah)


  • 1Genuine.

    ‘the more expensive brands are pukka natural mineral waters’
    • ‘Punters are being warned that buying tickets from illegitimate online sources will cost them almost 70 per cent more than buying pukka tickets.’
    • ‘When talking tipple, the conversation invariably turns to bubbly - carbonated, spritzed, Cap Classique or the real thing, pukka Champagne from France.’
    • ‘A capacity crowd on the Friday night were in top voice to ensure that the show swung along to the accompaniment of cheers, boos and ‘behind you’ as every pukka pantomime should.’
    • ‘This is your real pukka darts board, mind you, as seen on TV and everything.’
    • ‘But we persuaded Gil we were actually pukka, so he allowed us to interview him.’
    genuine, authentic, proper, actual, real, true, bona fide, veritable, original, not copied, legitimate
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    1. 1.1 Of or appropriate to high or respectable society.
      ‘it wouldn't be considered the pukka thing to do’
      • ‘We were one of only two sets of diners that night; the others were an elderly and rather pukka couple who spent much of the evening talking loudly about the need to tell Hamish to prune their hedge and dredge the ha-ha.’
      • ‘I've no pukkah university bred accent and belong to no high-powered ‘old boys network.’’
      • ‘‘He is very pukka, from upper middle class North Indian stock,’ one friend said.’
      • ‘The pukka school, which charges parents 18,750 a year to take the weans off their hands, is going through troubled times.’
      • ‘Heat-jaded Sahibs and Memsahibs came here to escape the coast's hottest months, they invented snooker at the pukka Ooty Club and came to gossip at Charing Cross - locations were named by the British.’
      respectable, decorous, proper, genteel, formal, polite, conventional, right, correct, accepted, presentable, decent, smart
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    2. 1.2 Excellent.
      ‘“That Danny is totally gorgeous.” “Yeah, pukka haircut.”’
      • ‘Once you've seen someone naff wearing the goods, they just aren't pukka any more, not matter how expensive.’
      • ‘Khan says that the mafia has not only encroached the land by keeping articles of his bidi and cigarette shop but also has done some pucka construction work.’


Late 17th century: from Hindi pakkā ‘cooked, ripe, substantial’.