from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A porter or bearer in certain Muslim countries.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a porter in Turkey and other oriental countries.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. In Turkey and other Oriental countries, a porter or burden bearer; specif., in Western India, a palanquin bearer.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A porter in Constantinople. Two hamals carry immense weights between them, suspended from poles supported on their shoulders.
The husband is in Iran looking for some kind of work, probably a hamal.
It is while looking at what seems both externally and internally complete and perfect happiness that the thought occurs — how must these people sigh, when driven across the dreary wilderness that intervenes between the lake country and the sea-coast, for such homes as these! — those unfortunates who, bought by the Arabs for a couple of doti, are taken away to Zanzibar to pick cloves, or do hamal work!
Chamu drove the hamal away in front of him, and cuffed him the minute they were out of sight.
Now it was my painful duty to go every morning up to his office-room and see that peon had put fresh ink and everything ready and that the _hamal_ had dusted properly.
Here, one of the gang (later identified as the man who had been known as John Robin Ross-Ellison, and who insisted that he was a Baluchi) declared that he had just murdered Mrs. Dearman in her drawing-room and made a full statement -- a statement found to be only too true, its details corroborated by a trembling _hamal_ who had peeped and listened, as all Indian servants peep and listen.
Late that evening Dick Blaine, returning from a desultory dinner at the club across the river, very nearly fell into the trap-door, for the hamal had run away too, thinking he would surely be accused of all the mischief, and no lamps were lit.
He went and fetched the hamal, who slunk through his task with the air of a condemned felon.
Scarcely had we returned, indeed, before another patient hamal knocked, lugging the hapless bird.
A peacock reposing majestically in the arms of a patient hamal appeared at the front door, a souvenir for "his excellency."
He has to control a sneaking mussaul, an obstinate hamal, a quarrelsome, or perhaps a drunken cook, a wicked dog-boy, a proud coachman, and a few turbulent ghorawallas, while he must conciliate, or outwit, the opposition headed by the ayah.