from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Indo-Iranian.
  • noun A member of the people who spoke the parent language of the Indo-European languages. No longer in technical use.
  • noun A member of any people speaking an Indo-European language. No longer in technical use.
  • noun In Nazism and neo-Nazism, a non-Jewish Caucasian, especially one of Nordic type, supposed to be part of a master race.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or pertaining to the Aryans or to their speech. See II.
  • noun A member of the eastern or Asiatic division of the Indo-European family, occupying the territories between Mesopotamia and the Bay of Bengal, in the two subdivisions of Persia, or Iran, and India.
  • noun An Indo-European or Indo-German or Japhetite; a member of that section of the human race which includes the Hindus and Iranians (Persians) as its eastern or Asiatic division, and the Greeks, Italians, Celts, Slavonians, and Germans or Teutons as its western or European division.
  • noun Many words still live in India and England that have witnessed the first separation of the northern and southern Aryans, and these are witnesses not to be shaken by any cross-examination. The terms for God, for house, for father, mother, son, daughter, for dog and cow, for heart and tears, for axe and tree, identical in all the Indo-European idioms, are like the watchwords of soldiers. We challenge the seeming stranger; and whether he answer with the lips of a Greek, a German, or an Indian, we recognize him as one of ourselves. There was a time when the ancestors of the Celts, the Germans, the Slavonians, the Greeks and Italians, the Persians and Hindus, were living together beneath the same roof, separate from the ancestors of the Semitic and Turanian races.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun One of a primitive people supposed to have lived in prehistoric times, in Central Asia, east of the Caspian Sea, and north of the Hindu Kush and Paropamisan Mountains, and to have been the stock from which sprang the Hindu, Persian, Greek, Latin, Celtic, Teutonic, Slavonic, and other races; one of that ethnological division of mankind called also Indo-European or Indo-Germanic.
  • noun The language of the original Aryans.
  • noun (Nazism) a non-Jewish caucasian of Nordic stock; -- a classification used by Nazis, having no anthropological basis.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to the people called Aryans; Indo-European; Indo-Germanic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun theosophy, Germanic mysticism, nazism A member of an (alleged) master race comprised of non-Jewish Caucasians, especially those of Nordic or Germanic descent.
  • noun informal A person of Caucasian ethnicity; a white non-Jew.
  • noun informal, euphemistic A Caucasian racist, often one who is an Aryan in the first sense.
  • noun dated An Indo-European, a Proto-Indo-European.
  • noun dated An Indo-Iranian.
  • noun ethnography, obsolete A subdivision of the Caucasian race, which comprised the Aryans, the Semites, and the Hamites, or the accompanying linguistic subdivision.
  • adjective Pertaining, in racial theories, to the (alleged) Aryan master race.
  • adjective neo-Nazi or white supremacist ideology, informal Pertaining to the Caucasian ethnicity.
  • adjective US, informal, euphemistic Pertaining to Caucasian racists or their organisations, theories, etc.
  • adjective Of or pertaining to Indo-Iranian peoples, cultures, and languages.
  • adjective dated Of or pertaining to Indo-European peoples, cultures and languages.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (according to Nazi doctrine) a Caucasian person of Nordic descent (and not a Jew)
  • adjective of or relating to the former Indo-European people
  • noun a member of the prehistoric people who spoke Proto-Indo European


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Sanskrit ārya-, compatriot, ethnic self-designation of the Indo-Iranians of ancient India.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Sanskrit आर्य (ā́rya, "noble" or "noble one"), from Proto-Indo-Iranian *arya-, the original Indo-Iranian autonym. Borrowed into English in the 19th century, at first as a term for the Indo-Iranian languages, and later partly extended to the Indo-European languages and peoples following a theory by Friedrich Schlegel that connected the Indo-Iranian words arya / ā́rya with German Ehre ("honor") and some older Germanic names, thus assuming that it was the original Indo-European autonym meaning "the honorable people". The original meaning of the Indo-Iranian autonym and its possible Indo-European origin/cognates are disputed (see Wikipedia article for further details).


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word Aryan.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Check out CD&C 3!

    September 24, 2011