Definition of Persian in English:

Persian

noun

  • 1A native or inhabitant of ancient or modern Persia (or Iran), or a person of Persian descent.

    • ‘After all, the laws of the Medes and Persians never changed at all.’
    • ‘Seventy years later, when the Babylonians fell to the Persians and the Jews were permitted to return, only a small number did.’
    • ‘They also used lead-based powder to whiten their complexions as the ancient Persians did.’
    • ‘The Greeks seem to have been fascinated by the splendid costumes of the Persians and the bodies they concealed.’
    • ‘For instance, it is not known exactly how the Norooz festival was viewed in terms of religious beliefs by ancient Persians.’
    • ‘Arabs, Syrians, Persians and other Orientals exhibited great interest in this subject even before this period in history.’
    • ‘The Egyptians embalmed bodies; the ancient Babylonians and Persians stuck them into jars of honey and wax.’
    • ‘The Saluki and the horse are prized possessions of the Arabs and the Persians.’
    • ‘Ancient Persians believed that pomegranate seeds made their warriors invincible.’
    • ‘More than 4,000 years ago, the ancient Assyrians, Persians, and Babylonians used mastiffs wearing spiked collars to attack their enemies.’
    • ‘Between the 4th and 19th centuries, Armenia was conquered and ruled by, among others, Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Mongols, and Turks.’
    • ‘The Medes and the Persians were subsequently united by marriage connections.’
    • ‘Muslim Arabs and Persians established trading routes in the area between the 7th and 10th centuries AD.’
    • ‘The ancient Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and East Indians used it to treat certain illnesses.’
    • ‘The encounter with Persians and Arabs infused a new vitality into Indian music, resulting in the sublime form of khayal.’
    • ‘At different times it has been occupied by Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Mongols, Turks and Russians.’
    • ‘There are also smaller groups of Ukrainians, Turks, Persians, and Jews.’
    • ‘The Aryans were supposedly the ancestors of the Greeks, Persians, Indians, Scandinavians, Anglo-Saxons & Germans.’
    • ‘To the Persians and Arabs the word Hindu covered both the lands watered by the Sindhu and the people living there and beyond.’
    • ‘Misfortune and politics place them between the Arabs, Turks and Persians.’
    1. 1.1A long-haired domestic cat of a breed originating in Persia, having a broad round head, stocky body, and short thick legs.
      • ‘The prominent use of Persians in exotic shorthair breeding programs ensures the continued creation of exotics that carry a recessive gene for long hair.’
      • ‘He doesn't place his Siamese kitten along with the Persians, apparently for fear of cross-breeding.’
      • ‘A Persian cat is the same as an Angora cat, which is sometimes called an Angola cat.’
      • ‘In 1903 Frances Simpson, an English cat breeder and judge, declared there should be two separate breeds of Persian - the longhair and shorthair.’
      • ‘Others include the Siamese, the Rex, the Main Coon, the Ragdoll and the Persian.’
      • ‘To be fair, actually, that credit should go to the American shorthair fanciers who bred some of their cats to Persians.’
      • ‘The outlet is not restricted to canine alone and one can find some lovely Persian cats, cute little guinea pigs and chirpy exotic birds.’
      • ‘By that time Persians and other longhair cats - namely the Angora and the Russian - outnumbered shorthairs four-to-one at shows.’
      • ‘She owns two Persian cats and is anxious that any cat hairs are regularly cleaned up to prevent her 18-month-old son Daniel suffering an allergy attack.’
      • ‘The shortest distance to that goal lies in breeding Himalayans to Persians, so beginning in 1960 the Persian gradually became a sanctioned Himalayan outcross in cat associations.’
      • ‘‘His coat is naturally beautiful and he doesn't really need a trim,’ said Diane, who also owns five Persian cats.’
      • ‘A Persian cat was shot in the tail and had to have an operation.’
      • ‘I've also had an expert opinion on my cat from a leading authority on Persians, who was posing as an odd-job man at my parents' house at the time.’
      • ‘Never place short-nosed animals such as Boston Terriers or Pekingese or Persian cats in the cargo area.’
      • ‘For 14 years, I shared my home with two cats, one of them a jet-black Persian.’
      • ‘Choose a grown up cat from a pet sanctuary, and preferably not a Persian cat which needs plenty of attention to its fur.’
      • ‘She holds court from her bed like a spoiled Persian cat, a disagreeable chocolate substituting for a furball.’
    2. 1.2A sheep of a breed common in South Africa.
  • 2[mass noun] The language of modern Iran, an Indo-European language written in Arabic script.

    Also called Farsi
    • ‘A very substantial minority speaks a form of Persian called Tajik (about a third of Uzbeks, and the majority in Tajikistan).’
    • ‘He even translated the Upanishads into Persian.’
    • ‘Some speak Spanish, Persian, or American Sign Language.’
    • ‘If successful, the World Service site plans to introduce this option in other languages including Arabic, Persian and Spanish later in the year.’
    • ‘Theaters show movies in Hindi, Urdu, Persian, Arabic, and English.’
    • ‘He is a linguist and fluently speaks in Urdu, Persian, Tamil, Nepali, Bengali, Hindi and Assamese, besides English and Khasi languages.’
    • ‘Middle Persian is, in essence, today's Persian.’
    • ‘Urdu is a blend of four different languages - Hindi, Arabic, Persian, and Turkish - and is also spoken by Muslims in India.’
    • ‘It is a pleasant amalgam of Persian, Arabic, Marathi, and Hindustani with Konkani as its base.’
    • ‘The Malay language borrows heavily from other languages, including Sanskrit, Portuguese, Persian, Arabic, and English.’
    • ‘In Southwest Asia, Persian, Semitic, and Turkic languages identify various ethnic groups.’
    • ‘Modern Kurdish names are mostly Arabic or Persian.’
    • ‘There were particularly large gains for online services in English, Arabic, Spanish and Persian.’
    • ‘Loanwords from English, Arabic, Portuguese, Persian, and Hindi are also common, reflecting the history of the nation.’
    • ‘Urdu was created by combining the languages of early invaders and settlers, including Arabic, Persian, and Turkish.’
    • ‘Since the 1970s, a growing number of Kurds have rediscovered their non-Turkish roots, based in part on Kurdish, an Indo-European language related to Persian.’
    • ‘He saw old manuscripts and spoke about similarities of Urdu, Arabic and Persian.’
    • ‘Many European languages, but also Oriental languages are represented, such as Arabic, Persian, Syriac, Hebrew and even Chinese.’
    • ‘Written Persian is transcribed by a modified version of Arabic script, even though Persian is a member of the Indo-European family of languages.’
    • ‘There are many borrowed words from Arabic, Persian, and Russian, especially for technical and scientific terms.’
    1. 2.1An earlier form of Persian spoken in ancient or medieval Persia.
      • ‘While Persian like Turkish has one gender, Sanskrit has three, i.e. male, female and neuter.’

adjective

  • Relating to ancient Persia or modern Iran or its people or language.

    • ‘Such toleration also extended to oriental cults, one of the most prominent being that of Mithras, a Persian god who represented fair dealing and the victory of the soul after death.’
    • ‘The Athenian fleet was operating in the northern Aegean, with a combined Corinthian and Spartan navy (now financed by Persian gold) in pursuit.’
    • ‘Now that he was king of Persia, Alexander began to adopt Persian dress, at least when dealing with Persian subjects.’
    • ‘He took a Persian wife, and encouraged his officers to do likewise, arguing against the traditional Greek parochialism.’
    • ‘In 538 BC Persian emperor Cyrus defeated the Babylonians and Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem.’
    • ‘The restaurant has a clean look, its teal walls decorated with a few pictures of Persian artifacts and Iran.’
    • ‘The first calendar was located in inscriptions at Persepolis, an ancient Persian city located near the present city of Shiraz that was the symbolic capital of the Achaemenids.’
    • ‘In 525 B., Cambyses, the son of Cyrus the Great, led a Persian invasion force that dethroned the last pharaoh of the 26th Dynasty.’
    • ‘The Greeks held the pass but eventually a traitorous Greek led a Persian force through the hills to the rear of the Greek forces, who were subsequently massacred.’
    • ‘Against overwhelming odds, he led his army to victories across the Persian territories of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt without incurring a single defeat.’
    • ‘Once the king was seen abandoning the field - he was easy to spot in his golden chariot - the Persian army collapsed.’
    • ‘Though chapter 4 does provide information on ancient Persian medicine, it would have been better if it had covered more elaborate information.’
    • ‘In 1218, a caravan of merchants arrived at Utrar, on the Persian frontier.’
    • ‘The mighty Persian empire (founded in Asia a generation earlier by Cyrus the Great and expanded by his son Cambyses to take in Egypt) is in crisis, since a usurper has occupied the throne.’
    • ‘Evidence of popular fascination with Iran's Persian heritage is everywhere.’
    • ‘The Muscat rulers established trading posts on the Persian coast and also exercised a measure of control over the Makran coast (now Pakistan).’
    • ‘In the same century, the Buyids, a Persian clan that was also Shi'ite in loyalty, managed to take over the ailing Abassid caliphs in Baghdad.’
    • ‘Influenced by the style of ancient Persian gardens, it used only dark plants; the palette was strictly limited to black, deep crimson, purple and chocolate browns.’
    • ‘Our bus has been chugging uphill out of the city of Shiraz in southern Iran on the road to Persepolis, the ancient Persian capital.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French persien, from Latin Persia, via Greek from Old Persian pārsa Persia ( modern Persian pārs, Arabic fārs).

Pronunciation:

Persian

/ˈpəːʃ(ə)n//ˈpəːʒ(ə)n/