top of page

25 Most Commonly Used Urdu Words Around The World

Urdu, with its poetic charm and lyrical cadence, is a language that captivates the senses and stirs the soul. With roots in Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit, Urdu has evolved into a language that beautifully combines elegance and emotion. Its vocabulary is adorned with words that paint vivid imagery, evoke profound emotions, and express the subtle nuances of human experience. This article delves into some commonly used Urdu words, showcasing the richness and versatility of this linguistic treasure.

1. "Aadab" (آداب):

Derived from the Arabic word "aadab," "aadab" encompasses the art of refined behavior, courtesy, and etiquette. It represents the cultural values of respect, politeness, and grace. It is common to greet someone with "Aadab" as a sign of respect or to say "Aadab arz hai" when seeking permission to speak.

2. "Mehfil" (محفل):

"Mehfil" refers to a gathering or a social event where people come together to enjoy music, poetry, and conversation. It creates an atmosphere of camaraderie and celebration. A "mehfil-e-ghazal" signifies a gathering dedicated to the recitation of Urdu poetry, often accompanied by soul-stirring musical performances.

3. "Khwab" (خواب):

Dreams hold a special place in Urdu literature and conversation, and the word "khwab" embodies this fascination. It means a dream or a vision that can be both literal and metaphorical. The word often appears in poetry, reflecting the ethereal nature of dreams and their ability to inspire hope, longing, and introspection. Phrases like "khwabon ki dunia" (the world of dreams) evoke a sense of wonder and imagination.

4. "Rozana" (روزانہ):

"Rozana" is an Urdu word that means daily or regularly. Whether it's "rozana ki zindagi" (daily life) or "rozana ka kaam" (daily work), the word highlights the significance of small, consistent efforts in our lives. It serves as a reminder to find beauty and meaning in the ordinary moments that make up our everyday existence.

5. "Yaad" (یاد):

"Yaad" means memory or remembrance, nostalgia, and longing. The word captures the bittersweet feeling of recollecting cherished moments or missing someone deeply. Expressions like "yaadon ka jharokha" (window of memories) evoke a sense of wistfulness and sentimentality.

6. "Ishq" (عشق):

"Ishq" is an Urdu term that represents ardent love. It captures the intensity of emotion, desire, and devotion that is beyond physical limits. The word "Ishq" is frequently associated with the depth of emotions seen in love poetry and Sufi literature. It represents a love that consumes the heart and spirit, defying logic and reason.

7. "Zehnaseeb" (ذہن اصیب):

"Zehnaseeb" beautifully captures the concept of destiny or one's preordained fortune. It represents the belief that certain events or people are destined to cross our paths, leaving an indelible mark on our lives.

8. "Bazm" (بزم):

"Bazm" refers to a social gathering where friends and loved ones come together to celebrate and enjoy each other's company. It signifies an atmosphere of joy, camaraderie, and merriment. In the context of Urdu poetry, "bazm" often implies a gathering where poetry, music, and art are shared and appreciated.

9. "Mohabbat" (محبت):

"Mohabbat" is an Urdu word that refers to the profound and unconditional love that transcends boundaries. It represents a deep affection and attachment towards someone or something. "Mohabbat" is often associated with selflessness, sacrifice, and an intense emotional connection.

10. Zindagi" (زندگی):

"Zindagi" translates to life, encapsulating the entirety of human existence and the experiences that shape it. It encompasses the highs and lows, joys and sorrows, and the profound journey of being alive.

11. "Rihaa" (رِہاء):

Rihaa refers to liberation or freedom. As a concept, "Rihaa" holds significant importance and is often celebrated as a cherished state of being, whether it pertains to personal, social, or political aspects of life. It symbolizes the desire for autonomy, independence, and the ability to make one's own choices and decisions.

12. "Musafir" (مُسافِر):

Musafir means "traveler" or "wanderer." It captures the spirit of exploration and adventure, signifying the journey of a wanderer, both physically and metaphorically. Musafir represents the pursuit of new horizons, the yearning for discovery, and the growth that comes from traversing unfamiliar paths.

13. "Tasawwur" (تصوُّر):

"Tasawwur" is an Urdu word that encompasses the concept of imagination or visualization. It is the faculty through which we can form vivid mental representations of things, events, or concepts, often using our senses and past experiences as building blocks.

14. "Qurbat" (قُربَت):

Qurbat means "closeness" or "proximity." It signifies the emotional and physical closeness between individuals or the yearning for intimacy. Qurbat represents the desire for connection, the warmth of shared experiences, and the sense of belonging that comes from being close to someone.

15. "Zauq" (ذوق):

Zauq refers to taste, preference, or inclination. It encompasses an individual's unique sense of aesthetics and the ability to appreciate beauty in various forms. Zauq represents personal discernment, refined taste, and the ability to find pleasure and meaning in art, literature, and the world around us.

16. "Khwahish" (خواہش):

"Khwahish" represents the emotional and spiritual aspect of human nature, where individuals feel a strong urge or craving for something beyond their current state. It is a testament to the boundless potential of the human mind and heart to imagine, dream, and aspire to make a positive impact on the world.

17. "Jazbaat" (جذبات):

Jazbaat is a profound and intricate expression of the heart's response to the world around us. It encompasses the breadth of human emotions, from the soaring heights of joy and love to the depths of sorrow and longing. Jazbaat finds its manifestation in various forms, from laughter to tears, from empathy to passion. It shapes our relationships, driving acts of kindness, empathy, and understanding.

18. "Naseeb" (نصیب):

"Naseeb" is an Urdu word that translates to "destiny" or "fate." "Naseeb" reflects that certain life circumstances, opportunities, and outcomes are destined, regardless of individual efforts. It acknowledges the mystery of life and the interplay of chance and choice.

19. "Afsana" (افسانہ):

The Urdu word "Afsana" refers to a short story or a fictional tale. It is a type of narrative prose fiction that is often shorter in length than a novel and focuses on a single topic or theme. Afsanas are known for their brevity and succinct narrative, and they can span a wide range of genres, like romance, mystery, fantasy, social issues, and more.

20. "Gulzar" (گلزار):

"Gulzar" is a poetic name that carries deep symbolism and imagery. When translated as "rose garden" or "flourishing garden," it immediately conjures a vivid mental picture of a lush and enchanting space teeming with the splendor of flowers. In the context of "Gulzar" representing a "rose garden," the word emphasizes the significance of roses as the epitome of beauty, love, and passion. As a flourishing garden, the interpretation of "Gulzar" portrays it as a dynamic and lively place, teeming with life and brimming with possibilities.

21. "Noor" (نور):

The Urdu word "Noor" is an Arabic-origin name, and it means "light" or "radiance. In Islamic traditions, "Noor" is often associated with divine light or the light of God, representing spiritual enlightenment and guidance. It is considered a symbol of purity, wisdom, and illumination. As a name, "Noor" is commonly given to children to express the hope and blessing that they bring light and positivity into the world, just like a shining light in the darkness.

22. "Taskeen" (تسکین):

"Taskeen" means "comfort" or "solace." It signifies the soothing effect that eases distress or sorrow. When someone finds taskeen, it means they have found a sense of ease or consolation, often after going through difficult or trying times. It can also be used to express a feeling of relief or satisfaction after accomplishing something challenging.

23. "Dastan" (داستان):

he Urdu word "Dastaan" means a tale, story, or narrative. It is used to describe a long and detailed account of events or incidents, often presented as an epic or a historical narrative. It can be in written form, like a novel or book, or orally conveyed through storytelling. In traditional Urdu literature, dastaans were popular and were often recited or read aloud to entertain and captivate the audience.

24. "Aarzoo" (آرزو):

The word "Aarzoo" refers to an intense desire, wish, or longing for something. It is an emotion of longing for a cherished goal, a dream, or an aspiration. Aarzoo is often associated with heartfelt desires or yearnings that one passionately wishes to fulfill.

25."Afreen" (آفرین):

The Urdu word "Afreen" is an exclamation used to express praise, admiration, or appreciation. It is often used to compliment someone for their talents, beauty, or any remarkable achievement. In English, it can be loosely translated as "bravo," "well done," or "wonderful." It is a positive and encouraging word used to celebrate and acknowledge someone's accomplishments or qualities.

Urdu's lyrical beauty provides a wealth of exquisite words that resonate with the human experience. Each word mentioned here reveals a different aspect of emotion, connection, and awe. As Urdu continues to evolve and adapt, these words will remain an integral part of its lexicon, preserving the essence of its cultural heritage. These words serve as a testament to the timeless and enduring power of language to touch hearts, evoke emotions, and create connections that span time and distance.


Pratha editorial team


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page