how·dah also hou·dah (houdə)
A seat, usually fitted with a canopy and railing, placed on the back of an elephant or a camel.
[Urdu haudah, from Arabic hawdaj, litter, sedan chair, from hadaja, to shuffle along, totter; see hdg in the Appendix of Semitic roots.]
(click for a larger image)howdah
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.