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n. A laundryman in India and Pakistan; a washerman.


Dhobi ( English:"washerman") is a caste group primarily belonging to India and Pakistan, whose traditional occupation was washing clothes. The word Dhobi is derived from the Hindi word dhona, which means to wash. They are found throughout North India, Gujarat, Maharashtra as well as the Punjab province of Pakistan, where they are known as Gazar. Dhobis in various regions are likely to be of many different ethnic origins: their ancestors took the occupation of washing clothes, evolving over time into a distinct caste bound by rules of endogamy. Most Dhobis follow the customs and traditions of the region they live, so for example those in North India speak Hindi, while those in Maharashtra speak Marathi. The Dhobi rank themselves highest among the scheduled castes,The Census of 2001 returned Dhobis representing six per cent of the Scheduled Castes.

Usage examples of "dhobi".

Nancy had a fever with chills so violent and sweating so profuse that she stayed in bed all day and night, except when Beth stripped the sheets and gave them to the dhobi, who came for the laundry.

Beth and the utter unresponsiveness of her abdomen to the dhobi pen were stimulations so extreme that Rahul continued to yield to them.

When at last the face was raised I recognized the dhobi of the village that nestled under the hill on which was perched the castle of the zemindar.

But to the dhobi I appeared cold as the waters of the snows that melt on the mountains.

And, turning to the red ashes burning in a brazier near at hand, I dexterously substituted a fragment of paper, on which I had been figuring my accounts, for the paper received, from the dhobi, placing the former on the glowing charcoal embers and bestowing the latter in the security of my girdle.

We pedaled over the Dhobi Khola bridge and shot by the Central Immigration building before I could think of anything to yell that might have brought the crowd there into the street.

British women, formerly ladies of leisure employing cooks, dhobis and ayas, found themselves coping with all the tasks usually performed by these servants.

Braving dhobis and houseflies, I concealed myself in the unclean place.