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Ethi·​o·​pi·​an ˌē-thē-ˈō-pē-ən How to pronounce Ethiopian (audio)
: a native or inhabitant of Ethiopia
: a member of any of the mythical or actual peoples usually described by the ancient Greeks as dark-skinned and living far to the south
archaic : a Black person


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: of, relating to, or characteristic of the inhabitants or the country of Ethiopia
: of, relating to, or being the biogeographic region that includes Africa south of the Sahara, southern Arabia, and sometimes Madagascar and the adjacent islands

Examples of Ethiopian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Renowned Ethiopian singer Muluken Melesse died on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., after a long illness, according to his family. Chloe Veltman, NPR, 12 Apr. 2024 When formulating the Ethiopian calendar, a monk named Panorodos placed the birth of Christ, the calendar’s beginning point, at eight years later than other scholars. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 11 Apr. 2024 Abiy’s support for Sudan’s RSF could spark fighting with the Sudanese Armed Forces near the Ethiopian dam project. Alex De Waal, Foreign Affairs, 8 Apr. 2024 Already, orders for Ethiopian grown coffee have fallen. Aniruddha Ghosal, Fortune Asia, 25 Mar. 2024 These include dabo, an Ethiopian honey bread, and messer wot, a red lentil stew. Kate Maxwell Lindsey Tramuta Reggie Nadelson Gisela Williams Roxanne Fequiere Siska Lyssens, New York Times, 21 Mar. 2024 International observers have found substantial evidence that both Tigrayan and Ethiopian forces have committed war crimes, including the mass rape and murder of civilians. Ayen Deng Bior, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 Mar. 2024 Some of the families of the Ethiopian crash victims welcomed the intense regulatory scrutiny on Boeing following January’s door plug blowout. Chris Isidore, CNN, 10 Mar. 2024 The immigrant population in Saudi Arabia is often forced into modern-day slavery, and recently there have been reports of mass killings of hundreds of Ethiopian migrants by Saudi forces. Bernie Sanders, Foreign Affairs, 18 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Ethiopian.' 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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1557, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near Ethiopian

Cite this Entry

“Ethiopian.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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