1Indian historical, rare An elephant.
2historical With capital initial. In full "Hathi tractor". A large powerful tractor developed by the British army in the 1920s for use as a military vehicle.
The Hathi tractor was soon largely replaced by powerful lorries which were easier to maintain, though it remained in service in Australia until 1945.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Emily Eden (1797–1869), writer. From Hindi hāthī and perhaps its cognate Bengali hāti from Sanskrit hastin elephant, lit. ‘having a trunk’ from hasta hand, elephant's trunk (perhaps from the same Indo-European base (with different suffix) as ancient Greek χείρ hand: see cheir-) + -in, suffix forming adjectives.