1. Persian name of India, especially the part N of the Deccan.
  2. the predominantly Hindu areas of India, as contrasted with the predominantly Muslim areas of Pakistan.


  1. the land of the Hindus, esp India north of the Deccan and excluding Bengal
  2. the general area around the Ganges where Hindi is the predominant language
  3. the areas of India where Hinduism predominates, as contrasted with those areas where Islam predominates

1610s, from Persian, literally “country of the Hindus;” see Hindu + -stan.

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