KAŠF AL-LOḠĀT WA’L-EṢṬELĀḤĀT (Revealing [of the meaning] of words and terminology), title of a Persian dictionary compiled in India by ʿAbd-al-Raḥim b. Aḥmad Suri, born in the province of Bihar, India, in the first half of the 16th century. Kašf al-loḡāt was compiled before 1017/1608 (most probably around the middle of the 16th century), since it is mentioned among the sources of the Farhang-e jahāngiri, which was completed in that year. The dictionary contains more than 21,000 entries. Most of the entries are of religious and philosophical nature, with an emphasis on Sufi terminology, although there are also words from the general Persian vocabulary, including colloquial and dialectical forms. Professional terminology and vocabulary are also well represented. ʿAbd al-Raḥim indicates in his introduction that he compiled the dictionary for his son, Šehāb, who was reading the divān of the Sufi poet Qāsem-e Anwār (d. 1431) with him; and the Arabic words, particularly symbolic Sufi terms, encountered there could not be found in the dictionaries available to them (Dabirsiāqi, 1989, pp. 111-12).

Kašf al-lōḡāt is divided into twenty-eight chapters (bāb) in the order of the initial letters, and each chapter is subdivided into sections (faṣl), where words with the same final letter are listed. There are a few illustrations of word usage, drawn mostly from the Šāh-nāma and the poetry of Neẓāmi Ganjavi, Ḵāqāni Šarvāni, Ḥāfeẓ, and others. Special attention is given to the definition of Arabic words and expressions, while Persian entries are marked with the letter “f” for fārsi. Among the main sources of Kašf al-loḡāt are the Persian dictionaries Farhang-e ebrāhimi (i.e., Šaraf-nāma-ye Monyari) of Ebrāhim Qewām Fāruqi (comp. 1473), Moʾayyed al-fożalāʾ of Moḥammad Lād (comp. 1519), Dastūr al-afāżel of Rafiʿ Dehlavi (comp. 1342-43), Farhang-e Amir Šehāb-al-Din Kermāni, and the Arabic dictionaries Kanz al-loḡāt of Moḥammad b. Maʿruf (comp. ca. 1465), al-Ṣorāḥ men al-Ṣaḥāh of Jamāl-al-Din Moḥammad Qarši (comp. 1282), the “two Tājs” (Tājayn, apparently meaning the Tāj al-maṣāder of Abu Jaʿfar Bayhaqi [d. 1150], and dictionary Tāj al-loḡa wa ṣeḥāḥ al-ʿarabiya compiled by the 10th-century lexicographer Abu Naṣr Jawhari).



ʿAbd-al-Raḥim b. Aḥmad Suri Behāri, Kašf al-loḡāt wa’l-eṣṭelāḥāt, 2 vols., Calcutta, 1827; Lucknow, 1900.

Solomon I. Bayevsky, Opisanie persidskikh rukopiseĭ Instituta narodov Azii (Description of the Persian manuscripts in the Institute of the Peoples of Asia), fasc. 4, Moscow, 1962, pp. 27-28.

Idem, “Srednevekovaya persidskaya leksiskografiya” (Medieval Persian lexicography), in Agniya V. Desnitskaya and Solomon Davidowich Katsnelson, eds., Istoriya lingvisticheskikh uchenii: Srednevekovyĭ Vostok, Leningrad, 1981, pp. 115-29.

Idem, Rannyaya persidskaya leksikografiya, XI-XV vv. (Early Persian lexicography, 11th-15th cent. C.E.), Moscow, 1989.

Henry Blochmann, “Contributions to Persian Lexicography,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal 37/1, 1868, pp. 9-10.

Moḥammad Dabirsiāqi, Farhanghā-ye fārsi wa farhang-gunahā, Tehran, 1989, pp. 110-13.

Idem, Farhanghā-ye fārsi ba fārsi, Tehran, 1996, pp. 114-17.

Vladimir Alexandrovich Kapranov, Tadzhiksko-persidskaya leksikografiya v Indii XVI-XIX vv. (Tajik-Persian lexicography in India, 16th-19th cent. C.E.), Dushanbe, 1987.

Paul de Lagarde, Persische Studien, Göttingen, 1884, pp. 50-52.

David N. MacKenzie, “Ḳāmus ii: Persian Lexicography,” in EI² IV, 1978, pp. 525-27.

Monzawi, Nosḵahā III, cols. 1947-48.

Shahriār Naqawi, Farhang-nevisi-e fārsi dar Hend wa Pākestān, Tehran, 1962.

Ṣafā, Adabiyāt V, p. 386.

Carl Salemann, “Bericht über die Ausgabe des Miʿjār i Jamāli,’” in Mélanges Asiatiques 9, St. Petersburg, 1888, pp. 523-24.

Storey III/1, pp. 18-19.


September 15, 2003

Revised February 22, 2005

(Solomon Bayevsky)

Originally Published: December 15, 2011

Last Updated: April 24, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XV, Fasc. 6, pp. 663-664