Chen·nai (chə-nī) Formerly Ma·dras (mə-drăs, -dräs)
A city of southeast India on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. Founded in 1639 as Fort St. George by the British East India Company, Chennai was held by the French from 1746 to 1749. Now the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, it is a major industrial, commercial, and cultural center.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.