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ˈā-zhən How to pronounce Asian (audio)
 also  -shən
: of, relating to, or characteristic of the continent of Asia or its people
Asian vs. Asiatic: Usage Guide

Asian is now solidly preferred to Asiatic; the latter persists mainly in the names of some kinds of flora and fauna.

an Asiatic lily
the Asiatic elephant

Asiatic still has some use as a geographical designator

the Asiatic side of the Bosporus

but has increasingly been considered offensive, especially as associated with the policies of colonialism.


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: a native or inhabitant of Asia
: a person of Asian descent

Examples of Asian in a Sentence

Noun There are many Asians living in South America.
Recent Examples on the Web
In the midst of the drizzle, sound effects with a distinctly Asian feel began playing and toku and the band’s supporting members took to the stage. Billboard Japan, Billboard, 17 July 2024 The opening exhibition features a selection of works from prominent Asian artists including Ai Weiwei, Yue Minjun, Wu Kukwon, and Gongkan, among others. Reena Devi,, 17 July 2024
Plastique, who actively supports Asian and Vietnamese charities with visits and donations to local Vietnamese orphanages, is raising money for the Asian American Foundation. Katcy Stephan, Variety, 9 July 2024 Vice President Harris, meanwhile, will campaign in Las Vegas today at an event focused on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. Leigh Ann Caldwell, Washington Post, 9 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for Asian 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Asian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1550, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Asian was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near Asian

Cite this Entry

“Asian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: of, relating to, or characteristic of Asia or its people
Asian noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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