Definition of babu in English:


nounplural noun babus

  • 1Indian A respectful title or form of address for a man, especially an educated one.

    ‘I could see Kana-babu's shop’
    • ‘Right at that moment, a young boy, hardly 20 or even younger, looked up at me and said sardonically, ‘To propitiate the gods, babu, we do not have to look up these days.’’
    • ‘Dilip had already done a market survey, and located potential customers, usually villagers who were in the process of building houses - like Ghosh babu.’
    • ‘No, we are not saying that some famous Bengali babu is coming here to enlighten us on the finer aspects of their admirably rich tradition.’
    • ‘Their fantasy of Englishness did not include the literary Bengali babu, for whom they felt contempt and distrust.’
    • ‘The college in which we studied was in some ways an incubation chamber for babus.’
    1. 1.1An office worker; a clerk.
      ‘he was a typical babu, polite and faintly scornful’
      • ‘Many of the more experienced contenders have spent decades trying to convince an obstinate babu that they are not dead as shown in Government records.’
      • ‘How many babus would lose jobs if slums ceased to exist?’
      • ‘Confusion prevailed even at the gates with each passing babu passing orders to the gate keeper to allow or restrict the entry of people.’
      • ‘Why should I wait for some babu to be available to get things rolling?’
      • ‘If there was any lapse, the babu responsible for bank affairs should have alerted the higher-ups.’



/ˈbäˌbo͞o/ /ˈbɑˌbu/


From Hindi bābū, literally ‘father’.