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mausoleum at Agra, India, built c.1640 by Shah Jahan for his favorite wife, from Persian, literally "the best of buildings;" second element related to Arabic halla "to lodge." But some authorities hold that the name of the mausoleum is a corruption of the name of the woman interred in it, Mumtaz (in Persian, literally "chosen one") Mahal, who died in 1631. Figurative use as a name denoting anything surpassing or excellent is attested from 1895.