mali (plural malis)
- (India, South Asia) A member of a caste in South Asia whose traditional occupation is gardening; hence, any native gardener. [from 18th c.]
1840, G. T. Frederic Speede, Indian Hand-book of Gardening, Calcutta: W. Thacker & Co. St. Andrew's Library, OCLC 474754220, page 1:
- [H]ence the slow progress hitherto made in the cultivation of such produce of the garden as is generally held in estimation by the European portion of the community, left as it generally is, to the simple Hindoo mallee (or gardener,) it is not to be wondered at, that our bazars want what are deemed the more delicate articles of vegetable production for the table; […]
1848 March 20, “Report of Exhibitions of Vegetables, Fruits, Flowers and Agricultural Produce, Held at Bhaugulpore, on 11th February and 25th May, 1848. (Communicated by Major [T. E. A.] Napleton, Honorary Secretary Branch Agri-Horticultural Society.)”, in Journal of the Agricultural & Horticultural Society of India, volume VI, part II (Correspondence and Selections), number 3, Calcutta: Bishop's College Press, OCLC 648779148, page 125:
- Prizes were awarded to ten other mallees for best samples of vegetables, fruits and flowers, and last though not least we have to note, that a prize of two rupees was awarded to the mallee of Robert Fulton, Esq., of Sultangunge, for a remarkably fine bunch of grapes, clearly showing that either the soil of Mr. Fulton's garden, the climate of Sultangunge, or the skill of that gentleman's gardener, are highly favorable to the growth, and bringing to maturity of this delicious fruit.
1871 November 29, “Cachar: Further Correspondence on the Subject of the Looshai Raids and the Consequent Hostilities (in Continuation of Paper, No. 398, of 1871)”, in Accounts and Papers: Thirty-six Volumes, volume X (East India—continued), [London]: Ordered, by The House of Commons, to be printed, published 28 May 1872, OCLC 941810036, page 301:
- I sent down dhobies, sweepers, cooks, and mallees, last to dig trenches for burying the dead, when burning was not possible.
- 1924, EM Forster, A Passage to India, Penguin 2005, p. 190:
- And, as always, an Indian close outside the window, a mali in this case, picking up sounds.
- 2008, Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies, Penguin 2015, p. 99:
- the malis who tended the gardens, no less than the owners themselves, vied to outdo each other in the fancifulness of their plantings, creating here a little patch of topiary and there an avenue of trees, trimmed in the French fashion […].
|Inflection of mali (Kotus type 5/risti, no gradation)|
mali m pl, f pl
mali m (plural mali)
mali (ma class, plural only)
This word is morphologically plural but semantically singular. If a plural sense is required, it may be put in the n class.