Definition of shahtoosh in US English:



  • 1High-quality wool from the neck hair of the Himalayan ibex.

    • ‘The gossamer threads of the shahtoosh make a shawl so warm and soft that it passes through a ring.’
    • ‘While it is important to save the animal in its habitat in China and also to campaign against shahtoosh in India, it is also important that policy makers in Beijing pay heed to this and accord the species the status it deserves.’
    • ‘Unlike other luxurious wools such as cashmere and pashmina, shahtoosh is produced from the fine, inner hairs of the Tibetan antelope - which cannot be shorn from the animal.’
    • ‘And the cashmere: you can buy pashmina by the yard and near-shahtoosh - that is, shahtoosh that isn't - but not even an antelope can tell the difference.’
    • ‘Poachers have decimated the chiru populations to supply the black market trade in shahtoosh, which is among the world's most expensive wools and is 25 percent finer then cashmere.’
    1. 1.1 Fabric woven from shahtoosh wool.
      as modifier ‘a large shahtoosh shawl’
      • ‘In 1999 United States Fish and Wildlife Service officials forced nearly 100 wealthy Manhattan residents to return shahtoosh shawls smuggled into the country.’
      • ‘Despite your efforts, thousands of shahtoosh shawls are still being woven in Kashmir.’
      • ‘While the price tag on a shahtoosh shawl in Delhi's underground market ranges from £400 to £1,250, on the international market the price could be three to eight times as much.’
      • ‘Four years ago, on a raid at a London shop, police seized 138 shahtoosh shawls, which had price tags ranging between £2,000 and £15,000.’
      • ‘Duplicates of the paper-thin shahtoosh shawls (from Ladakh), which have been banned, are available in the local market.’


Mid 19th century: via Punjabi from Persian šāh ‘king’ + Kashmiri tośa ‘fine shawl material’.