Pash·​tun ˌpəsh-ˈtün How to pronounce Pashtun (audio)
variants or less commonly Pushtun
plural Pashtuns also Pushtuns or Pashtun also Pushtun
: a member of a people of eastern and southern Afghanistan and adjacent parts of Pakistan

Examples of Pashtun in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Cricket’s appeal to the Taliban may be partly rooted in the sport’s long-standing popularity in ethnic Pashtun communities, where the Taliban has traditionally drawn its strongest support. Rick Noack, Washington Post, 27 Feb. 2024 Whereas the Taliban were derived mostly of Afghans from the Pashtun east and south, Mazar-e-Sharif in the north, close to the Uzbekistan border, had significant populations of Uzbeks and Tajiks. Eric Adler, Kansas City Star, 7 Feb. 2024 This border contestation, mixed with Islamabad’s fears of Kabul backing Pashtun nationalist causes within Pakistan, has long undermined the trust between the two countries. Aqil Shah, Foreign Affairs, 9 Jan. 2024 As a result, many rural Pashtun women actually saw their lives improve following the imposition of Sharia law. Ross McDonnell, The New Yorker, 6 Sep. 2023 As a result, a succession of Afghan governments continued to refuse to recognize the Durand Line as a legal frontier, aligned Afghanistan with India against Pakistan, and periodically attempted to stir up Pashtun ethnic separatism in Pakistan. Anatol Lieven, Time, 19 Aug. 2021 Rural Pashtun, the ethnic group that provides the Taliban with most of its manpower, were among those who suffered the most during the war because the bulk of the fighting took place in their areas. Abdulkader Sinno, The Conversation, 16 Aug. 2021 Many powerful Pashtun tribes, such as the Ghilzais, the Ishaqzais, and the Noorzais, felt cut out. Christina Lamb, Foreign Affairs, 22 June 2021 Soldiers from Tajik tribes were sent into Pashtun provinces to fight Pashtun Taliban. Bing West, WSJ, 22 Apr. 2021

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

Word History


Pashto paštun, paxtun

First Known Use

1815, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Pashtun was in 1815

Dictionary Entries Near Pashtun

Cite this Entry

“Pashtun.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on Pashtun

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