Ro·​ma·​ni | \ ˈrä-mə-nē How to pronounce Romani (audio) , ˈrō- \
variants: or Romany
plural Romani or Romanis or Romanies

Definition of Romani

1 : a member of a traditionally itinerant people who originated in northern India and now live chiefly in Europe and in smaller numbers throughout the world : rom entry 1 Racist violence against Romani in eastern Europe is reminiscent of pogroms against the Jews in the Tsarist Empire.— Donald Kenrick Headlines in Europe this month have highlighted the continent's worst, and most ill-managed social problem: the treatment of millions of Romanies who face at best discrimination and at worst persecution.The Economist

Note: Romani people are also referred to as Gypsies, a term that is still frequently encountered in English but is increasingly regarded as offensive.

2 : the Indo-Aryan language of the Romani Today Romani exists in many dialects, reflecting the paths of Rom dispersion.— Carol Silverman Others believe the source [of cushy] is more likely to be a different Indic language, Romany, where the word is kushto, "good."— Jan Freeman

Other Words from Romani

Romani or Romany adjective
the Romani language the Romani people

First Known Use of Romani

1800, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for Romani

borrowed from Romani řomani, feminine of řomano "of the Roma," from řom "man, married man, male Rom" + -ano, adjective suffix (in reference to language by ellipsis from řomani čhib "Romani language") — more at rom entry 1

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Dictionary Entries Near Romani

Roman hyacinth



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Cite this Entry

“Romani.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2022.

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