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1 State and former province, India: see Tamil NaduTamil Nadu
, formerly Madras
, state (2001 provisional pop. 62,110,839), 50,180 sq mi (129,966 sq km), SE India, on the Bay of Bengal. The capital is Chennai (formerly Madras).
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. 2 City, India: see ChennaiChennai
, formerly Madras
, city (1991 pop. 5,421,985), capital of Tamil Nadu state, SE India, on the Bay of Bengal. A commercial, railway, and manufacturing center, Chennai has large textile mills, chemical plants, and tanneries and is the main center of India's
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a city in southern India, on the Bay of Bengal, and the administrative center of the state of Tamil Nadu. Population, 2.47 million (1971).

Madras is a major industrial, commercial financial, and cultural center and an important transport junction. The port of Madras has an artificial harbor; it is the country’s third largest port in terms of freight turnover, handling 6 million tons annually. The chief exports are peanuts, fabrics, coffee, spices, and iron ores. Near the city is the Meenambakkam international airport. Since independence the city has grown as an industrial center. Old sectors were expanded, including the production of cotton, leather (one of the country’s largest centers), food and condiments, and metal products, and new industries were developed, particularly machine building (two automobile plants and the country’s largest state-owned factory for the manufacture of railroad passenger cars), petroleum refining (a plant with an annual capacity of 2.5 million tons of crude oil), and the production of plastics. In the suburbs are state plants for the production of tanks (Avadhi) and teletype units (Guindy).

The city’s educational and scientific institutions include a university, research institutes of mathematics, natural resources, and medicine, and the Indian Geographic Society, an important center for geographic research in southern India. There is also a film studio.

The city sprawls over a broad coastal plain. Residential and business districts alternate with large parks, gardens, and even rice paddies. In the northern coastal section of the city, next to the port, is the business center. To the west lies the industrial district of Perampur, and south of the port stands the former English fort, now the Historical Museum. South and southwest of the fort lies the center of the city, with many shops, hotels, and private residences. Along the coast extends the scenic Marina promenade.


Founded in 1639 as an English trading post, called Fort St. George, Madras was a base for English expansion in southern India in the 18th century. During the colonial period it was the headquarters of the governor of Madras Province. After India achieved independence in 1947, the city became the administrative center initially of the state of Madras and, since 1969, of Tamil Nadu.


a. a strong fine cotton or silk fabric, usually with a woven stripe
b. (as modifier): madras cotton


1. a port in SE India, capital of Tamil Nadu, on the Bay of Bengal: founded in 1639 by the English East India Company as Fort St George; traditional burial place of St Thomas; university (1857). Pop.: 4 216 268 (2001)
2. the former name (until 1968) for the state of Tamil Nadu
References in classic literature ?
The celebrated East India Company was all-powerful from 1756, when the English first gained a foothold on the spot where now stands the city of Madras, down to the time of the great Sepoy insurrection.
There are plenty of little yachts and yawls at Calcutta or Madras which would serve our turn well.
Twice or thrice in the year, according to her promise, she wrote him letters to Madras, letters all about little Georgy.
I bought antiques in Madras and met George Deligianis, the former diplomat, who had settled in Madras so that he could live the good life.
Claudine Deborah Madras of the Winsor School in Boston and Michael Shayne Agney of Melbourne (Fla.
ATLANTA -- Consolidated Container Company (CCC) announced today its intention to acquire substantially all of the assets of plastic container manufacturer Madras Packaging, located in Atlanta, Georgia, and Argos, Indiana.
Faced with an unprecedented situation where a sitting judge of the Madras High Court walked into a courtroom hearing a petition challenging a selection of names of 10 advocates for appointment of judges to the high court by a collegium, the Supreme Court has said it is willing to look into it if the calibre of a selected lawyer can also be put to judicial review.
Sathasivam, has transferred Justice Satish Kumar Agnihotri, Chhattisgarh High Court Judge, to the Madras High Court and has directed him to assume charge of his office in the Madras High Court on or before October 3.
The development of modern art in the South initially happened at Madras/Chennai since it had the colonially established Madras School of Arts and Crafts.
Food and personal care producer Hindustan Unilever is said to have filed the claim in the Madras High Court -- although no further details over the nature of the purported non-payments have yet been revealed.
There, she claimed that Lyn McCartney, head of modern languages at Madras College in St Andrews, had damaged the phone as she took it.
It's much more useful to read the manifestos of the opposing parties," suggests Madras.