Ankushas – Definition & Meaning

Ankushas is a word that is not commonly used in everyday language, and many people may not be familiar with its meaning or origin. However, it has a rich history and associations that make it an interesting word to explore.


Ankushas is a Sanskrit word that refers to a tool used by elephant trainers to guide and control the animals. It is a pointed hook or goad that is used to prod the elephant in a specific direction or to perform a particular action.
In a broader sense, ankushas can also refer to any tool or instrument that is used to guide or direct something, whether it is an animal, a person, or an object.


The word ankushas has its roots in ancient India, where elephants were used for transportation, labor, and warfare. Elephant trainers, known as mahouts, developed the ankushas as a way to communicate with and control these powerful animals.
Over time, the use of ankushas spread beyond India and became a symbol of power and authority in many cultures. Today, it is still used by some elephant trainers, although there is controversy over its use and whether it is humane.

Meaning in different dictionaries

Ankushas is not a word that is commonly found in English-language dictionaries, but it may be defined in Sanskrit or Indian language dictionaries. In these sources, it is generally defined as a tool or instrument used for guiding or directing something.


Ankushas is associated with elephants and elephant trainers, as well as with power and authority. It is also associated with the idea of control and discipline, as it is used to direct and guide animals that can be dangerous if not properly managed.
In some cultures, the ankushas is also associated with the Hindu god Ganesha, who is often depicted holding the tool in his hand as a symbol of his power and authority.


Some synonyms for ankushas include:

  • Goad.
  • Prod.
  • Stick.
  • Whip.
  • Baton.
  • Cane.


There are no direct antonyms of ankushas, as it is a specific tool with a particular function. However, some words that could be considered opposite in meaning include:

  • Freedom.
  • Autonomy.
  • Independence.
  • Spontaneity.

The same root words

Ankushas is derived from the Sanskrit word ankusha, which means “goad” or “hook.” Other words that share this root include:

  • Ankusham – a variant spelling of ankusha.
  • Ankushita – prodded or goaded.
  • Ankushayate – to prod or urge on.

Example Sentences

Here are some example sentences that use the word ankushas:

  • The mahout used his ankushas to guide the elephant through the dense jungle.
  • The trainer tapped the horse’s flank with his ankushas to get it to jump over the fence.
  • The politician wielded his power like an ankushas, directing people and events to his will.
  • The artist used her creativity as an ankushas, guiding her brush to create a masterpiece.
  • The coach used tough love as his ankushas, pushing his players to be their best.
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