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

  • n. 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.
  • n. Proto-Indo-European. Also called Indo-Germanic.
  • n. A member of any of the peoples speaking an Indo-European language.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. 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 n. Proto-Indo-European: the hypothetical parent language of the Indo-European language family.
  • n. 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.
  • adj. Of or relating to the languages originally spoken in Europe and Western Asia.
  • adj. Of or relating to the hypothetical parent language of the Indo-European language family. Also called Proto-Indo-European and abbreviated PIE.
  • adj. Of or relating to the hypothetical group of peoples that spread Indo-European languages.

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.
  • adj. 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 The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.).
  • n. A member of one of the races speaking the Indo-European languages; an Aryan.

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

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


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).


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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!

  • Among the extinct descendants of Indo-European are two well-attested main branches, Anatolian including Hittite and Tocharian.

    The English Is Coming!

  • In the Celtic branch of the Indo-European tree there is Welsh seren and Breton steredenn.

    The English Is Coming!

  • The language was thought to be unrelated to Indo-European until the Czech linguist Bedřich Hrozný deciphered the cuneiform markings.

    The English Is Coming!

  • Once-new technologies, such as the wheel and the plow, moved, along with Indo-European languages and cultures, toward distant locales across the Eurasian landmass at an average rate of about one kilometer per year.

    The English Is Coming!


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