Definition of jamadar in English:


(also jemadar)


  • 1Indian A minor official or junior officer.

    • ‘Another jemadar prowled, revolver in one hand, primed grenade in the other, and kukri clenched between his teeth.’
    • ‘In exchange of their services, jamadars and mrdhas were usually remunerated chakran or service tenure.’
    • ‘A significant number of labourers contract themselves out to the kdedars or jamadars who liaise between workers and contractors on a commission basis.’
    1. 1.1historical An Indian officer in a sepoy regiment.
      • ‘Again there are at least 15 pictures of caparisoned elephants, horses, infantry and jemadars and the royal couple in action.’
      • ‘Maharajahs, elephants, dusty plains, imposing mountains, teeming bazaars… and loyal Indian jemadars and subedars who made sturdy and trusty subordinates.’
      • ‘CITATION On 12 December 1947, Nand Singh was employed as a jemadar with the 1st Sikh Regiment, defending Kashmir from a Pakistani attack.’
  • 2Indian A person who sweeps homes or offices as a job.

    • ‘Most of the garbage is handled manually by municipal employees and private jamadars at great risk to their own health.’
    • ‘I thought jamadars carrying huge bags of garbage had little children in there.’
    • ‘Yet, the steady stream of jamadars who spend their days cleaning out the toilets of houses both modest and grand, a job that other domestic staff resolutely refuse to consider, is indicative of just how deeply rooted caste consciousness is.’


From Urdu jam(a)‘dār, from Persian, from Arabic jama‘, jamā‘a(t) ‘muster’ + -dār ‘holder’.