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Urdu

[oo r-doo, ur-; oo r-doo, ur-] /ˈʊər du, ˈɜr-; ʊərˈdu, ɜr-/
noun
1.
one of the official languages of Pakistan, a language derived from Hindustani, used by Muslims, and written with Persian-Arabic letters.
Origin of Urdu
< Urdu, Hindi urdū, extracted from Persian zabān i urdū literally, language of the camp (ultimately < Turkic; see horde)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Urdu
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It may be compared to a limited extent with Urdu, the camp language of India.

    China and the Chinese Herbert Allen Giles
  • He had spoken once or twice in Urdu to the mullah and had received no answer.

  • It was noticeable he spoke far clearer Urdu than long ago, under Zam-Zammah; but the father would allow no private talk.

    Kim Rudyard Kipling
  • As they spoke no English, we were obliged to converse with them in Urdu.

    Life in an Indian Outpost Gordon Casserly
  • The special name Urdu, however, has now superseded the term Hindustani, when we think of the language as a literary medium.

British Dictionary definitions for Urdu

Urdu

/ˈʊəduː; ˈɜː-/
noun
1.
an official language of Pakistan, also spoken in India. The script derives primarily from Persia. It belongs to the Indic branch of the Indo-European family of languages, being closely related to Hindi but containing many Arabic and Persian loan words
Word Origin
C18: from Hindustani (zabāni) urdū (language of the) camp, from Persian urdū camp, from Turkish ordū
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Urdu

official language of Pakistan, 1796, from Hindustani urdu "camp," from Turkish ordu (source of horde); short for zaban-i-urdu "language of the camp." Compare Dzongkha, a variant of Tibetan and the official language of Bhutan, literally "the language of the fortress."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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