1 of 2


In·​do-Eu·​ro·​pe·​an ˌin-dō-ˌyu̇r-ə-ˈpē-ən How to pronounce Indo-European (audio)
: of, relating to, or constituting the Indo-European languages


2 of 2


: a member of the people speaking an unrecorded prehistoric language from which the Indo-European languages are descended
: this language

Examples of Indo-European in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Researchers found the new Indo-European language on a religious ritual tablet. Sean Mowbray, Discover Magazine, 21 Nov. 2023 Its roots can be primarily found in the languages that form the Germanic and Indo-European language families. Erik Kain, Forbes, 12 Nov. 2023 But ultimately, this fragmentary evidence is not enough to determine if Ancient Macedonian and Hellenic split from a common, pre-Hellenic source or derived from distinct Indo-European proto-languages. Victor A. Friedman, Foreign Affairs, 19 Oct. 2018 Intriguingly, many of these Indigenous languages offer linguists, whose discipline bleeds into fields from anthropology and paleoarchaeology to neuroscience and philosophy, potentially far more promising lines of inquiry than the major Indo-European tongues. Simeon Tegel, Washington Post, 23 June 2023 Alliteration was used as a formal structure in many Indo-European languages, known as alliterative verse. USA TODAY, 9 June 2023

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


1813, in the meaning defined above


1832, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of Indo-European was in 1813

Dictionary Entries Near Indo-European

Cite this Entry

“Indo-European.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adjective
: of, relating to, or being a family of languages including those spoken in most of Europe and in the parts of the world colonized by Europeans since 1500 and also in Persia, the subcontinent of India, and some other parts of Asia


2 of 2 noun
: the Indo-European languages
: a member of a people who originally spoke an Indo-European language

More from Merriam-Webster on Indo-European

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