Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.
?Note: This page may contain content that is offensive or inappropriate for some readers.


, cooly
1. a cheaply hired unskilled Oriental labourer
2. Derogatory an Indian living in South Africa
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a term used to designate low-paid, unskilled workers (including porters, stevedores, manual laborers, rickshaw-boys, and day laborers) in China (prior to 1949), India, and other countries of eastern and southeastern Asia. The name was also used for unskilled workers who signed contracts to work in America, South Africa, and Australia. The workers included Chinese, Indians, Malays, and Negroes, who performed the hardest jobs on plantations and in mines. The institution of contracted coolies arose during the 1830’s and 1840’s, after the abolition of slavery in the British, Dutch, and French colonies, and it grew considerably during the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Merchant mistakenly shoots the coolie, thinking he was being attacked, when he was in reality being offered some water the coolie still had left in his bottle.
Extremely happy to announce the adaptation of our first film 'Coolie No.
In the early 1890s, a Western merchant in Jemulpo challenged a coolie to demonstrate his strength by carrying a 250-kilogram bale of cloth a kilometer up a couple of steep hills.
Between the Coolie Location and market square was an area known as Brickfields or Burgersdorp.
He also provides a longer vision of Chinese migration to the Americas, bridging the "coolie trade" period of the mid-19th century with the post-1882 US exclusion period.
Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor previously appeared in several hit films including Amar Akbar Anthony, Kabhi Kabhie, Naseeb and Coolie. The two are collaborating after 26 years.
The 50men strong squad of coolies made the prized catch for the week and averaged 30 rats per coolie who had setpoison baits at different places and most rats fell for it.
Coolies of Capitalism: Assam Tea and the Making of Coolie Labour
In addition they, once again expounded the economic benefits of this labor by citing how the Mauritian economy had flourished since the arrival of "coolie labor." Here again it is evident that if not for their labor power Indian immigrants would not have been added to the already large "native" or "colored" population in the colony.
Nazeer, talking to media here on Monday said that the Coolie contract
Coolie was a word used to describe the indentured labourers.
The following provides a schema of some of the ways in which the Melikian Collection contributes to our understanding of history: the contributions of contract labor to Cuban society and politics; the place of the coolie trade in international migration; naturalization in Cuba; the contributions of Chinese workers to Sino-Cuban diplomacy; the living and working conditions of the Chinese in Cuba; the rise of Chinese civic associations; and, finally, daily life in the twentieth century.