Mudaliar (alternatively spelled: Mudhaliar, Muthaliar, Mudar, Mudhar, Muthar, Mudali, Mudhali, Muthali or Moodley) is a title used by people belonging to various Tamil castes.[1] Castes using the title speak Tamil as their native language. The title was mostly used among Tamils from Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, and was given to a high-ranking military officer.[2]

The title was primarily used by the communities like the Agamudaya Mudaliar (Thuluva Velallar), Karaiyars, Sengunthars and Vellalars.[3][4][5][6] Other communities adopted it as means to present themselves as superior to the social status which they actually held.[3]

The title is derived from the Tamil word muthal or muthar meaning first with the suffix yaar denoting people.[7] The title is used in the same sense as simply meaning headman.[8]