Definitions

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

  • noun A large family of languages spoken especially in southern India and northern Sri Lanka that includes Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada.
  • noun A member of any of the peoples that speak one of the Dravidian languages, especially a member of one of the pre-Indo-European peoples of southern India.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or pertaining to Dravida or Dravira, an ancient province of southern India: specifically applied to a family of tongues spoken in southern India and Ceylon, supposed by some to be Scythian or Ural-Altaic, by others to constitute an independent group of languages. It includes Tamil, Telugu, Canarese, Malayālam or Malabar, Tulu, etc. Also called Tamilian.

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

  • adjective (Ethnol.) Of or pertaining to the Dravida.
  • adjective a group of languages of Southern India, which seem to have been the idioms of the natives, before the invasion of tribes speaking Sanskrit. Of these languages, the Tamil is the most important; Telegu, Malayalam, and Kannada are included. These languages are distinct from the Indo-European family of languages.

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

  • proper noun A family of related ethnicities and languages primarily in Southern India, Northeast Sri Lanka, and parts of Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
  • proper noun Any of the languages of these aboriginal peoples; Dravidic.
  • noun A member of any of several aboriginal peoples of India and Sri Lanka thought to have spread in India before Aryan migration.

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

  • noun a member of one of the aboriginal races of India (pushed south by Caucasians and now mixed with them)
  • noun a large family of languages spoken in south and central India and Sri Lanka

Etymologies

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

[From Sanskrit drāviḍaḥ, a Dravidian.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Sanskrit द्राविड (drāviḍa), drāvḷa, hypercorrection of Prakrit dāviḍa, dāmiḷo, damiḷa, from Old Tamil tamil (mod. Tamiẓ).

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