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A lakh or lac (/ˈlæk/ or /ˈlɑːk/; abbreviated L) is a unit in the South Asian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand (100,000; Scientific notation: 105). In the Indian numbering system, it is written as 1,00,000. It is widely used both in official and other contexts in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It is often used in Indian, Pakistani, and Sri Lankan English.


In Indian and Pakistani English, the word is used both as an attributive and non-attributive noun, and with either a marked ("-s") or unmarked plural, as in: "1 lakh people" or "1 lakh of people"; "200 lakh rupees"; "5 lakh of rupees"; "rupees 10 lakhs"; or "5 lakhs of rupees". In the abbreviated form, usage such as "INR‍5L" (for Rupees 5 lakh) is common.[citation needed]. In this system of numeration 100 lakh is called one crore equal to 10 million.


In colloquial Urdu, especially in the city of Karachi, the word "peti" is also used to denote one lakh rupees. This originated during the General Zia era, when the largest denomination of currency was the 100 rupee note and one lakh rupees would fill a small suitcase (peti as in Bombay Hindi). Hence, even after the Zia era, one peti has continued to mean one lakh rupees.[citation needed]

Etymology and regional variants[edit]

The root of the word lakh might be the Pali 'lakkha—masculine mark, target, stake in gambling; from the latter derived the numerical meaning, "one hundred thousand".[1] Another possible root could be the Sanskrit laksha (Devanagari: लक्ष lakṣa), which has similar meanings in that language.[citation needed]

South Asian languages[edit]

Non-South Asian languages[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Turner, Sir Ralph Lilley (1985). "lakṣá10881". A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages. London: Oxford University Press, 1962-1966. Includes three supplements, published 1969-1985. Digital South Asia Library, a project of the Center for Research Libraries and the University of Chicago. p. 629. Retrieved 22 Aug 2010. "lakṣá10881 lakṣá masculine ʻ stake, prize ʼ R̥gveda, ʻ mark, sign ʼ Mahābhārata, ʻ 100,000 ʼ Yājñavalkya, ʻ aim ʼ Kālidāsa, lakṣya— neuter, masculine ʻ aim ʼ Muṇḍ Upaniṣad, ʻ prize ʼ Mahābhārata, , ʻ 100,000 ʼ Mahābhārata, . [√lakṣ. For derivation from root to become numeral, see Addenda: Pali lakkha— masculine ʻ mark, target, stake in gambling ʼ; Oṛiyā lākha, nākha ʻ aim, distinguishing mark ʼ, lācha ʻ brand ʼ; Gujarātī lāchɔ masculine ʻ burning the feet ʼ; Marāṭhī lās masculine ʻ mark made by cautery ʼ, neuter.]" 

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