adjective \ˈa-rē-ən, ˈer-ē-; ˈär-yən\

Definition of ARYAN

a :  of or relating to a hypothetical ethnic type illustrated by or descended from early speakers of Indo-European languages
b :  nordic
c —used in Nazism to designate a supposed master race of non-Jewish Caucasians usually having Nordic features
:  of or relating to Indo-Iranian or its speakers

Origin of ARYAN

Sanskrit ārya noble, belonging to an ancient people of northern India speaking an Indo-European dialect
First Known Use: 1839

Rhymes with ARYAN



Definition of ARYAN

a :  nordic
b :  gentile

First Known Use of ARYAN


Rhymes with ARYAN


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Name formerly given to prehistoric people who settled in ancient Iran and the northern Indian subcontinent. Their language is believed to have influenced the Indo-European languages of South Asia. In the 19th century there arose a notion, propagated by the count de Gobineau and later by his disciple Houston Stewart Chamberlain, of an “Aryan race”: people who spoke Indo-European, especially Germanic, languages and lived in northern Europe. The “Aryan race” was considered to be superior to all other peoples. Although this notion was repudiated by numerous scholars, including Franz Boas, the notion was seized on by Adolf Hitler and was made the basis of the Nazi policy of exterminating Jews, Roma (Gypsies), and other “non-Aryans.” See also racism.


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