American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An ancient game of India similar to backgammon that uses cowrie shells instead of dice.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A game of Hindu origin, resembling backgammon, played by four persons.
- n. An ancient Indian board game in which players, throwing dice, shells, etc. to determine the distance of each move, attempt to be the first to take all of their counters around the board.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A game, somewhat resembling backgammon, originating in India.
- n. U. S. & Eng. A game adopted from the Indian game, using disks, as of pasteboard, and dice; it is played on a cross-shaped board.
- n. an ancient board game resembling backgammon; played on a cross-shaped board
- Hindi pachis twenty-five, the largest score that can be thrown with the cowrie shells. (Wiktionary)
- Hindi pacīsī, from pacīs, twenty-five : Sanskrit pañca, five; + Sanskrit viṁśatiḥ, twenty. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The game of the Hindoos, called pachisi, is played upon a cross-shaped board or cloth; it is a combination of checkers and draughts, with the throwing of dice, the dice determining the number of moves; when the Spaniards entered Mexico they found the Aztecs playing a game called patolli, identical with the Hindoo pachisi, on a similar cross-shaped board.”
“In this regard, they were quite unlike the prevailing 'mass market' boardgames published by companies like Parker, Milton Bradley, and Kenner, which mostly slapped marketable themes on top of proven mechanics the track game, pachisi variants, peg solitaire, etc.”
“Near the recreation building is the famous pachisi or chess board, similar to the one at Agra, where Akbar and his vizier, sitting opposite, marshalled the slave girls to and fro.”
“In the court a portion of the marble pavement is made to represent a pachisi or chess board, and it is said the game was played with slave girls, who were used instead of the customary chessmen.”
“Xoa had come in from the kitchen and was setting out a small table on which the pachisi board was ready for the evening's regular recreation.”
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