A lakh (/læk, lɑːk/; abbreviated L; sometimes written lac[1]) is a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand (100,000; scientific notation: 105).[1][2] In the Indian 2,2,3 convention of digit grouping, it is written as 1,00,000.[3] For example, in India, 150,000 rupees becomes 1.5 lakh rupees, written as 1,50,000 or INR 1,50,000.

It is widely used both in official and other contexts in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It is often used in Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani, and Sri Lankan English.


In Indian English, the word is used both as an attributive and non-attributive noun with either an unmarked or marked ("-s") plural, respectively. For example: "1 lakh people"; "lakhs of people"; "20 lakh rupees"; "lakhs of rupees". In the abbreviated form, usage such as "5L" or "5 lac" (for "5 lakh rupees") is common.[4] In this system of numeration, 100 lakh is called one crore[3] and is equal to 10 million.

Silver market

The term is also used in the pricing of silver on the international precious metals market, where one lakh equals 100,000 troy ounces (3,100 kilograms) of silver.[5][6]

Etymology and regional variants

The modern word lakh derives from Sanskrit: लक्ष, romanizedlakṣa, originally denoting "mark, target, stake in gambling", but also used as the numeral for "100,000" in Gupta-era Classical Sanskrit (Yājñavalkya Smṛti, Harivaṃśa).[7]

See also


  1. ^ a b Rowlett, Russ (15 December 2008) [1998]. "lakh". How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurement. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Archived from the original on 2 July 2016. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  2. ^ "lakh". Oxford English Dictionary (1st ed.). Oxford University Press. 1933.
  3. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lakh" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 94.
  4. ^ Posamentier, Alfred S.; Poole, Peter (23 March 2020). Understanding Mathematics Through Problem Solving. World Scientific. ISBN 978-981-4663-69-4.
  5. ^ Gilkes, Paul (3 July 2017). "CME Group/Thomson Reuters step down from executing the London silver fix". Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Units of Measure". perthmint.com.au. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  7. ^ Turner, Sir Ralph Lilley (1985). "lakṣá10881". "lakṣhá 10881" in: A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages. London: Oxford University Press, 1962-1966. Includes three supplements, published 1969-1985. Digital South Asia Library, a project of the Center for Research Libraries and the University of Chicago. p. 629. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2010. lakṣh masculine "stake, prize" R̥igved, "mark, sign" Mahābhārat, "100,000" Yājñavalkya, "aim" Kālidās]