Definition of Altaic in English:



  • 1Relating to the Altai Mountains.

    • ‘The difference in algal communities between the Altaic and other glaciers is discussed together with physical and chemical conditions affecting the algae.’
  • 2Denoting or belonging to a phylum or superfamily of languages which includes the Turkic, Mongolian, Tungusic, and Manchu languages. They are characterized by agglutination and vowel harmony.

    • ‘Turkish is an Altaic language, linguistically unrelated to English, but displayed in the Roman alphabet with 6 special characters.’
    • ‘Japanese shows some similarities to Korean and the Altaic languages.’
    • ‘Korean is generally thought to belong to the Altaic language family, along with Turkish, Mongolian, Japanese, and other languages.’
    • ‘The Uighur language belongs to the Turkic group of the Altaic family.’
    • ‘Hans and Huis speak Chinese (which belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language family), whereas Uygurs, Uzbeks, and Kazaks speak languages belonging to the Turkic language group of the Altaic language family.’


mass noun
  • The Altaic family of languages.

    • ‘Minorities in China speak more than 80 languages from five language families: Sino-Tibetan, Altaic, Austro-Asiatic, Austronesian, and Indo-European.’
    • ‘These samples include individuals from nine language phyla (Australian, Amerind, Sino-Tibetan, Altaic, Austric, Indo-Pacific, Indo-Hittite, Niger-Kordofanian, and Afro-Asiatic).’
    • ‘Nostratic, as originally proposed by Vladislav Illich-Svitych, consists of: Indo-European, Uralic, Altaic, Afro-Asiatic, Kartvelian (also known as South Caucasian), and Dravidian.’