1. One of an aboriginal people of Southern India, regarded by the four castes of the Hindoos as of very low grade. They are usually the serfs of the Sudra agriculturalists. See Caste.

2. An outcast; one despised by society. Pariah dog, a species of kite (Milvus govinda) which acts as a scavenger in India.

Origin: From Tamil paraiyan, pl. Paraiyar, one of the low caste, fr. Parai a large drum, because they beat the drums at certain festivals

(01 Mar 1998)

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