A lakh (/ /,; abbreviated L; sometimes written lac) is a unit in the Indian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand (100,000; scientific notation: 105). In the Indian 2,2,3 convention of digit grouping, it is written as 1,00,000. 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. In this system of numeration, 100 lakh is called one crore and is equal to 10 million.
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.
The modern word lakh derives from Sanskrit: लक्ष, romanized: lakṣa, originally denoting "mark, target, stake in gambling", but also used as the numeral for "100,000" in Gupta-era Classical Sanskrit (Yājñavalkya Smṛti, Harivaṃśa).
Another possible etymology comes from the root word for the lac bug, used to produce shellac. The word lakh is a unit in the Indian numbering system for 100,000 and presumably refers to the large number of insects that swarm on host trees, up to 150 per square inch (23/cm2).
lakṣh masculine "stake, prize" R̥igved, "mark, sign" Mahābhārat, "100,000" Yājñavalkya, "aim" Kālidās]