Definition of Tamil in English:

Tamil

Pronunciation /ˈtaməl/ /ˈtæməl/

See synonyms for Tamil

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noun

  • 1A member of a people inhabiting parts of southern India and Sri Lanka.

    ‘Funds were raised for his defence not only in India but also by the Tamils in South Africa.’
    • ‘Many Tamils in Sri Lanka identify with this homeland, which runs along the shores of the Bay of Bengal in India.’
    • ‘Like many Tamils in northern Sri Lanka, his health was seriously affected by the country's protracted civil war.’
    • ‘Sri Lanka's Tamils have fought for decades to establish a homeland.’
    • ‘A special feature of the campaign was to expose the discrimination against Tamils in Sri Lanka.’
    • ‘In a country which has strong ties with India, these Tamils constitute the strongest link.’
    • ‘The conflict in Sri Lanka today is not between the Sinhalese and the Tamils, but between the Government and a rebel group.’
    • ‘I accept of course that the appellant and her family like many Tamils in the north of Sri Lanka have been affected by the conflict in Sri Lanka.’
    • ‘None of this is helped by the continuing ethnic conflict between the Sinhalese and the Tamils on the island.’
    • ‘The province is populated by the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims in roughly equal proportions.’
    • ‘A few Tamils, living and working in different Arab countries, shared their views through the web.’
    • ‘The Sinhalese are mainly Buddhists while the Tamils are mostly Hindus.’
    • ‘The use of the emergency laws will not be confined to Tamils.’
    • ‘Afterward, Tamils accused the government of holding up emergency shipments to western areas that they control.’
    • ‘The majority of Tamils live peacefully with other ethnic groups.’
    • ‘They have a very different language, and while the Sinhalas are mainly Buddhist, most Tamils come from a Hindu or Muslim background.’
    • ‘Meanwhile young Tamils were flocking to join the militant groups which were soon to benefit from military training in India on a massive scale.’
    • ‘The Tamils live amid the continuous destruction caused by the war.’
  • 2A Dravidian language spoken by Tamils in southern India, Sri Lanka, and elsewhere. The language is more than 2,000 years old.

    ‘While its history is shrouded, it set the stage for an outpouring of medieval poetry in Tamil, a Dravidian language.’
    • ‘Immigrants from the states of southern India speak regional languages like Tamil, Telegu, or Malayalam.’
    • ‘Though he is not familiar with Tamil language, he loves speaking in Tamil.’
    • ‘‘But spoken Tamil and written Tamil are almost like two different languages,’ she laughs.’
    • ‘Children come to learn the languages of their ancestry - Telegu, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Sanskrit.’
    • ‘The thriller is also slated for release in at least two other languages - Tamil and Telugu.’
    • ‘The software is available in Hindi and regional languages including Tamil.’
    • ‘She speaks French, Spanish, Italian, English, Tamil, Telegu and Malayalam.’
    • ‘He abolished his predecessor's discrimination against the Tamils, for example by introducing Tamil as an official language next to Sinhalese.’
    • ‘Most Hindus in Malaysia speak Tamil, even if they are Gujarati or Telegu.’
    • ‘For him the agreement comes at an ideal moment as he is handling dual language movies in Tamil and Hindi.’
    • ‘The country's official languages are Sinhala and Tamil, but English is also spoken throughout Sri Lanka.’
    • ‘The actor says he is now able to speak in broken Tamil.’
    • ‘He is not a racialist, he can speak Tamil, and he knows the village scene and its characters well, and was not afraid to show his emotions.’
    • ‘However, most of the concerts are performed in languages other than Tamil.’
    • ‘Seeing that I was an Indian she took it for granted that I spoke Tamil.’
    • ‘We can speak and prepare documents in the local languages - Sinhala and Tamil.’
    • ‘Apart from his mother tongue, Tamil, he is able to understand and speak English.’
    • ‘In fact, one understands the literary value of Tamil only by learning more languages.’
    • ‘Radio stations rebroadcasted his Internet talks, and newspapers published his messages translated into Tamil.’

adjective

  • Relating to the Tamils or their language.

    ‘To them she was known as ‘Amma,’ which means mother in the Tamil language.’
    • ‘All participants later took an oath to strive for the development of the Tamil language.’
    • ‘He argues that even after learning the entire Tamil alphabet one will be unable to pronounce some words and letters, unique to Tamil language.’
    • ‘He is sad that there are no efforts to translate Tamil works into other languages.’
    • ‘However, I consider myself to be Sinhalese, as I have no comprehension of the Tamil language or culture.’
    • ‘At the same time I wanted to show that Tamil films are not inferior to other language films in content and technical brilliance.’
    • ‘Since the topic cut across language barriers, the competition was split into English and Tamil categories.’
    • ‘What about the current controversy over ‘erotic’ poetry by Tamil women poets?’
    • ‘In spite of the restricted access to Tamil channels, the users were attracted by the additional facility of getting FM radio programmes.’
    • ‘He has come a long way in exploring Tamil culture.’
    • ‘Unanimous agreement from Tamil parties also was absent.’
    • ‘Can you see this process leading to more moderate Tamil voices emerging in the political system, very briefly, if you will?’
    • ‘These contests have been organised with a view to perpetuating the cultural consciousness of Tamil tradition and national heritage.’
    • ‘For about five decades, he had been the uncrowned monarch of Tamil film music, working with all the leading music directors and lyricists.’
    • ‘The discussion centred on characterisation in Tamil films.’
    • ‘A doyen of modern Tamil drama assures that teachers, by learning theatre art, can make academic activities enchanting.’
    • ‘There is also some real good news for Tamil movie buffs.’
    • ‘At a time when classical music is turning its attention to the usage of original Tamil songs and lyrics, it is only natural for the world of dance to follow suit.’
    • ‘A few months ago, he organised a conference of Tamil scholars.’
    • ‘Stating that the Confederation had adopted its own flag and Tamil anthem, he said there was a need for the Tamils across the world to rally behind it.’

Origin

The name in Tamil.