A member of the lowest class in traditional Indian society, falling altogether outside the Hindu caste categories and subject to extensive social restrictions.
A member of the Scheduled Castes.
Other Word Forms
Origin of dalit
- Hindi dalit crushed, oppressed from Sanskrit dalita- past passive participle of dalayati to cause to burst variant of darayati he splits derived form (probably a denominative of -daraḥ smasher) (as in puraṃdaraḥ citadel-smasher, an epithet of Indra) of darati he splits der- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition