Definition of Circassian in English:



  • Relating to or denoting a group of mainly Sunni Muslim peoples of the north-western Caucasus.

    • ‘Circassian tribes were welcomed by the Ottoman Empire for practical reasons.’
    • ‘Neriman decided to show me Circassian clothing.’
    • ‘Special seats were set aside in parliament for Christian, Chechen, Circassian, and Bedouin minorities.’
    • ‘When he built this hotel in 1912 he filled it with Austrian crystal chandeliers, Circassian walnut paneling, and an Italian marble staircase and floors.’
    • ‘It set off her golden eyes, and her very light blond hair, a legacy of her Circassian ancestors.’


  • 1A member of a group of mainly Sunni Muslim peoples of the north-western Caucasus.

    • ‘The whole nation of Circassians numbering 400,000 people left their homeland in western Caucasus and moved to Turkey.’
    • ‘The Circassians, who are Muslim, are of Russian origin and generally have fair hair and skin.’
    • ‘Over the next 50 years, hundreds of thousands of Chechens and Circassians were relocated to various parts of the czarist empire.’
    • ‘These groups include Circassians, Ossetians, and Cabardins.’
    • ‘While the Druze and the Circassians were made to serve in the armed forces, Muslims and Christians were not allowed to do so.’
    • ‘Thus Circassians, Albanians, Slavs, Greeks, Armenians and even Italians rose to occupy the highest offices of the Empire.’
    • ‘The North Caucasus houses Circassians, Turkic peoples, Ossetians, and Chechens; Dagestan alone contains dozens of nationalities.’
    • ‘Arabs represented 98 percent of the population, Circassians one percent, and Armenians one percent.’
    • ‘Among the resisters were the Circassians in the west and the Chechens and Dagestanis in the east, all Muslims.’
    • ‘From 1382 onwards the rulers were mostly Circassians from the Caucasus.’
  • 2mass noun Either of two North Caucasian languages of the Circassians, Adyghe and Kabardian.

    Also called Cherkess
    • ‘They learn Hebrew, English and Circassian at school.’
    • ‘There's this old man who constantly harasses me about how I don't speak Circassian.’
    • ‘Even in Turkey the younger generation still speak Circassian - albeit only poorly, as a second language.’
    • ‘They are bilingual, and speak and write Circassian as well as Abaza.’
    • ‘Kurdish, Armenian, and Circassian also are spoken.’


From Circassia, Latinized form of Russian Cherkes, denoting a district in the northern Caucasus.