AskDefine | Define lakh

Dictionary Definition

lakh n : the cardinal number that is the fifth power of ten [syn: hundred thousand, 100000]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings


From Hindustani लाख / (lākh) < लक्षं (lakṣaṇ)


  1. One hundred thousand, used especially of rupees.
    • 1972: But they were both killed in the same engagement against Tippoo Sahib, her father owing three lakhs of rupees and her husband nearly half that sum. — Patrick O'Brian, Post Captain

Usage notes

Used in India and Hong Kong. Not used in UK or Australia.


See also


Extensive Definition

A lakh (also written lac) is a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand (100,000; 105). It is widely used both in official and other contexts in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Pakistan, and is often used in English language text where intended for Indian audiences.
This system of measurement also introduces separators into numbers in a place that is different from that which is common in certain other number systems. For example, 30 lakh which is to say 3 million, would be written as 30,00,000 instead of 3,000,000. In this system of counting, a hundred lakhs make a crore, which is ten million.
In India, one lakh is written as 1,00,000. In most other parts of the world, the comma appears every three positions, so a lakh would usually be written as 100,000 outside India.
In India, the first comma appears after three places, but after every two places thereafter.
Examples of the Indian comma system: 12,12,12,123    5,05,000    7,00,00,00,000.
The same examples in the non-Indian system: 121,212,123    505,000    7,000,000,000

Etymology and regional variants

The lakh is known by various regional names in modern languages, all derived from the Sanskrit word लक्ष "hundred thousand":
lakh in Bengali: লাখ
lakh in German: Lakh
lakh in Spanish: Lakh
lakh in French: Lakh
lakh in Gujarati: લાખ
lakh in Hindi: लाख
lakh in Swahili (macrolanguage): Lakhi
lakh in Marathi: लाख
lakh in Dutch: Lakh
lakh in Norwegian: Lakh
lakh in Polish: Lakh
lakh in Vlax Romani: Lakh
lakh in Swedish: Lakh
lakh in Tamil: இலட்சம்
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