Cau·​ca·​sian | \ kȯ-ˈkā-zhən How to pronounce Caucasian (audio) , kä- also -ˈka-zhən \

Definition of Caucasian

1 : of or relating to the Caucasus or its inhabitants were forced to leave their Caucasian homeland
2 : of, constituting, or characteristic of a race of humankind native to Europe, North Africa, and southwest Asia and classified according to physical features used especially in referring to persons of European descent having usually light skin pigmentation

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Other Words from Caucasian

Caucasian noun
Caucasoid \ ˈkȯ-​kə-​ˌsȯid How to pronounce Caucasoid (audio) , -​ˌzȯid \ adjective or noun

Caucasian vs. White

Caucasian has two fairly distinct meanings, and the difference between them occasionally leads people to aver that one of them is incorrect. The earliest sense of the word is a literal one: “of or relating to the Caucasus (a region in southeastern Europe between the Black and Caspian seas) or its inhabitants.” The second refers to the racial group commonly referred to as white.

The objection to using Caucasian to refer to a white person is that many whites do not actually come from the Caucasus region. Be this as it may, there is no rule in language stipulating that the formation of a word must be based on logic; were this the case we would not call members of this racial group either Caucasian or white, since there are very few whose skin color is in fact that exact shade.

First Known Use of Caucasian

1658, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for Caucasian

Time Traveler

The first known use of Caucasian was in 1658

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Cite this Entry

“Caucasian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for Caucasian


Cau·​ca·​sian | \ ˈkȯ-ˈkā-zhən, -ˈkazh-ən How to pronounce Caucasian (audio) \

Medical Definition of Caucasian

1 : of or relating to the white race of humankind as classified according to physical features
2 : of or relating to the white race as defined by law specifically as composed of persons of European, North African, or southwest Asian ancestry

Other Words from Caucasian

Caucasian noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on Caucasian

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with Caucasian

Spanish Central: Translation of Caucasian

Nglish: Translation of Caucasian for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of Caucasian for Arabic Speakers

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