Definition of Santal in US English:


(also Santhal)

nounPlural Santals

  • A member of a large indigenous group living mainly in eastern India.

    • ‘Throughout central and southern India there are tribal populations such as Mundas, Oraons and Santals, there are Dravidian groups in southern India such as Tamils and the Malayalam-speaking peoples in Kerala.’
    • ‘To Hunter the Santals and the hillmen of the western frontier of Bengal were a ‘manly race’.’
    • ‘The indigenous community of Shantiniketan, mostly the Santals, displayed their handmade products at the fair.’


  • Relating to the Santal.

    • ‘Chapters III and IV of the Annals are entirely devoted to the study of the Santal society and this study will remain a classic.’
    • ‘He was one of the best-known Anglo-Indians, who had helped put down the Santal tribe rebellion in Bengal and became the premier of Tasmania from 1894 to 1899.’
    • ‘The reports to government on which this book is based, had to describe Santal customs in so far as they were tied up with legal principles.’


Bengali sā̃̄otāl, from Saont, a place in northeastern India.