Definitions

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

  • noun A family of languages consisting of most of the languages of Europe as well as those of Iran, the Indian subcontinent, and other parts of Asia.
  • noun Proto-Indo-European.
  • noun A member of any of the peoples speaking an Indo-European language.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of India and Europe: a term applied to a family of languages also called Aryan and sometimes Japhetic or Sanskritic or (by the Germans) Indo-Germanic, and generally classified into seven chief branches, viz. Indic or Indian (Sanskrit, Hindustani, etc.), Iranian or Persic (Zend, Pehlevi, Parsi, Persian, etc.), Celtic, Greek, Italic (Latin, Oscan, Umbrian, and the Romance tongues), Slavo-Lettic (Russian, Lithuanian, Lettish, etc.), and Teutonic or Germanic (including English, German, etc.).
  • noun A member of one of the races speaking the Indo-European languages; an Aryan.

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

  • A member of one of the Caucasian races of Europe or India speaking an Indo-European language.
  • adjective Aryan; -- applied to the languages of India and Europe which are derived from the prehistoric Aryan language; also, pertaining to the people or nations who speak these languages.

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

  • proper noun A major language family which includes many of the native languages of Europe, Western Asia and India, with notable Indic, Iranian and European sub-branches.
  • proper noun Proto-Indo-European: the hypothetical parent language of the Indo-European language family.
  • noun A member of the original ethnolinguistic group hypothesized to have spoken Proto-Indo-European and thus to have been the ancestor for most of India and Western Eurasia.
  • adjective Of or relating to the languages originally spoken in Europe and Western Asia.
  • adjective Of or relating to the hypothetical parent language of the Indo-European language family. Also called Proto-Indo-European and abbreviated PIE.
  • adjective Of or relating to the hypothetical group of peoples that spread Indo-European languages.

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

  • adjective of or relating to the Indo-European language family
  • noun a member of the prehistoric people who spoke Proto-Indo European
  • noun the family of languages that by 1000 BC were spoken throughout Europe and in parts of southwestern and southern Asia
  • adjective of or relating to the former Indo-European people

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Coined in 1813 by Sir Thomas Young, from Indo- +‎ European, relating to the geographical extremes in India and Europe (which was valid before the discovery of Tocharian languages in the early 20th century).

Examples

  • As we’ll see, though, the word Indo-European falls short of capturing the astonishing geographical scope of the family in its prehistoric phase.

    The English Is Coming!

  • As we’ll see, though, the word Indo-European falls short of capturing the astonishing geographical scope of the family in its prehistoric phase.

    The English Is Coming!

  • And here’s a thought to really blow your mind: Scholars have found a distinct similarity between the languages and mythologies of such diverse cultures as India, the Slavic world, Greece, and Germany.4 This common language thread has been dubbed Indo-European, and it establishes a strange cultural diffusion that ties us into a much larger global family than you might expect.

    Where To Park Your Broomstick

  • And here’s a thought to really blow your mind: Scholars have found a distinct similarity between the languages and mythologies of such diverse cultures as India, the Slavic world, Greece, and Germany.4 This common language thread has been dubbed Indo-European, and it establishes a strange cultural diffusion that ties us into a much larger global family than you might expect.

    Where To Park Your Broomstick

  • Our crowded shot comprises the group of languages called Indo-European, claiming the largest number of speakers of any family of languages in the world.

    The English Is Coming!

  • Our crowded shot comprises the group of languages called Indo-European, claiming the largest number of speakers of any family of languages in the world.

    The English Is Coming!

  • In suggesting that Europeans share “the same idiom,” Dante was intuiting what linguists would conclude six hundred years later: virtually all European languages, with the exception of those spoken in Finland, Estonia, and Hungary, come from the same linguistic family, known as Indo-European.

    The Great Experiment

  • In suggesting that Europeans share “the same idiom,” Dante was intuiting what linguists would conclude six hundred years later: virtually all European languages, with the exception of those spoken in Finland, Estonia, and Hungary, come from the same linguistic family, known as Indo-European.

    The Great Experiment

  • Although surrounded by Indo-European languages, Basque appears to be related to none of them.

    The English Is Coming!

  • Just as the roots of shirt extend back into earliest layers of Indo-European languages, there are similarly related words from the root *kar-, a variant of *sker-, in the Italic branch of the Indo-European language tree.

    The English Is Coming!

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