from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A fast conducted at the door of an offender, especially a debtor, in India as a means of obtaining compliance with a demand for justice, such as payment of a debt.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A debt collector in India who sits on the doorstep of a debtor until the debt is paid.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A coercive measure resorted to in the East Indies by a creditor, complainant, or claimant, who sits at the door of the debtor, without tasting food, until the debt is paid or the demand is complied with: as, to sit dharna (or in dharna).
Hindi dharnā, from Prakrit dharaṇa, from Sanskrit dharaṇam, act of supporting, stay.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)