Definitions

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

  • n. The modern Iranian language, dating from about the ninth century A.D., that is the national language of Iran and is written in an Arabic alphabet; Persian.
  • n. A native speaker of Farsi.
  • n. A member of the predominant ethnic group of Iran.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. The standard Persian language; national language of Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan.

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

  • n. the language of Persia (Iran) in any of its ancient forms
  • n. a person of Iranian descent

Etymologies

Persian fārsī, of Persia, alteration (influenced by Arabic Fāris, Persia) of pārsī, from Middle Persian pārsīg.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Apparently first used widely in English in the late 1960s or early 1970s. From Persian فارسی (fârsi), from Fars, the Arabic name for the province of Persis (“Pars”) in southwestern Iran (Arabic lacks the sound ‘p’). That name was adopted by the Arabs and Persians to refer to the Persian language after the Islamic invasions of the 7th century. (Wiktionary)

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