Definition of


  1. (noun, communication) any of the languages spoken by Amerindians
  2. (noun, person) a member of the race of people living in America when Europeans arrived
  3. (noun, person) a native or inhabitant of India
  4. (adj, pert) of or pertaining to American Indians or their culture or languages
    Indian arrowheads
  5. (adj, pert) of or relating to or characteristic of India or the East Indies or their peoples or languages or cultures
    Indian saris

via WordNet, Princeton University

Origin of the word Indian

  1. applied to the native inhabitants of the Americas from at least 1553, on the mistaken notion that America was the eastern end of Asia. Red Indian, to distinguish them from inhabitants of India, is first attested 1831, but not commonly used in N.Amer. More than 500 modern phrases include Indian, most of them U.S. and most impugning honesty or intelligence, e.g. more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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