Definitions

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

  • n. A member of a people living in the region of the Aegean Sea before the coming of the Greeks.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An inhabitant of pre-Hellenic Greece.
  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Pelasgians.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Pelasgians, an ancient people of Greece, of roving habits.
  • adj. Wandering.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Same as Pelasgic.
  • n. One of the Pelasgi.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Latin Pelasgus, from Greek Pelasgos.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek Πελασγός (Pelasgos) +‎ -ian, presumably based on a Pre-Greek ethnonym. Compare Egyptian prst, an ethnonym listed as one of the Sea Peoples attacking Egypt around 1190 BCE. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • -- The term Pelasgian is applied to various structures of massive masonry found in different parts of Greece, Italy, and Asia Minor.

    General History for Colleges and High Schools

  • Deucalion; the different tribes, of which the Pelasgian was the most widely spread, gave their own names to different districts.

    The History of the Peloponnesian War

  • The occupation of the plot of ground lying below the citadel called the Pelasgian had been forbidden by a curse; and there was also an ominous fragment of a Pythian oracle which said:

    The History of the Peloponnesian War

  • The occupation of the plot of ground lying below the Acropolis called the Pelasgian had been forbidden by a curse; and there was also an ominous fragment of a Pythian oracle which said—

    THE LANDMARK THUCYDIDES

  • This Roma is described as a Pelasgian place in which

    The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 01

  • Among the Greeks it was, as Dionysius states, a general opinion that Rome was a Pelasgian, that is, a

    The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 01

  • 'Pelasgian' substrate, an idea already suspected by Robert Beekes.

    Archive 2010-02-01

  • I certainly don't think that all Western IE roots are to be reassigned to the Aegean family, but I'm reasonably sure that in our ignorance of Minoan and related languages, Minoan history and "Pelasgian" substrate in Greek, there is definitely a noteworthy portion of words stemming from the eastern Mediterranean that are misassigned to PIE in overeagerness, thereby obscuring the linguistic past, exaggerating the importance of one group over many others.

    Suspicious IE roots, possibly deserving our scorn or maybe not

  • According to Robert Graves in The Greek Myths there is a Pelasgian creation myth in which Eurynome creates the cosmos by dancing it into existence.

    The Best American Poetry 2010

  • Very little is known about the Pelasgian peoples, who inhabited the peninsula before the arrival of the Greeks.

    The Greek Legacy

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