former Indian state (modern Chennai, a Tamil name), the name sometimes is said to be from Sanskrit Mandra, a name of a god of the underworld, but it is perhaps rather from Arabic madrasa "school" (see madrasah) or Portuguese Madre (de Deus). The British fort there dates from 1639. Related: Madrasi.

Madras handkerchief "large handkerchief of silk and cotton, usually in bright colors" (1833) is from the place, from which brightly colored muslin cloth was exported.

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