1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Naik
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NAIK, or Nayak, from a Sanskrit word meaning a leader, a title used in India in various senses. In the army it denotes a rank corresponding to that of corporal; and Hyder Ali of Mysore was proud of being called Haidar Naik, analogous to “le petit caporal” for Napoleon. It was also the title of the petty dynasties that arose in S. India on the downfall of the Hindu empire of Vijayanagar in the 16th century.