- a light cotton fabric of various weaves, especially one in multicolored plaid or stripes, used for shirts, dresses, jackets, etc.
- a thin curtain fabric of a light, gauzelike weave with figures of heavier yarns.
- a large, brightly colored kerchief, of silk or cotton, often used for turbans.
- made of or resembling madras.
- former name of Chennai
- former name of Tamil Nadu.
- a strong fine cotton or silk fabric, usually with a woven stripe
- (as modifier)madras cotton
- something made of this, esp a scarf
- a medium-hot currychicken madras
- the former official name of Chennai
- the former name (until 1968) for the state of Tamil Nadu
adj.1833, in reference to the former Indian state of Madras (modern Chennai, a Tamil name), from which this type of bright-colored muslin cloth was exported. The British fort there dates from 1639; the name sometimes is said to be from Sanskrit mandra, a god of the underworld, but perhaps rather from Arabic madrasa “school” or Portuguese Madre (de Deus).