Definition of Illyrian in English:



  • 1Relating to the ancient region of Illyria.

    ‘Illyrian tribes’
    • ‘He was born simply Diocles, the son of a poor Illyrian family who made his career in the army.’
    • ‘Half a century before Christ the Thracians occupied Hungary east of the Danube, while Hungary west of the Danube was the home of Celtic and Illyrian tribes.’
    • ‘The name ‘Albania’ is derived from an ancient Illyrian tribe, the Albanoi, who inhabited part of modern-day Albania from around 1225 BC to AD 200.’
    • ‘The nadir came when his brother, Perdiccas III, died in battle against Illyrian invaders, who occupied the north-western borderlands.’
    • ‘Eventually, the Aitolians had to be recalled to help their former enemies in Epirus against Demetrios's savage Illyrian raiders.’
  • 2Of or denoting the branch of Indo-European languages represented by modern Albanian.

    • ‘Albanian is probably part of the Illyrian branch of eastern Indo-European languages.’


  • 1A native or inhabitant of ancient Illyria.

    • ‘The first known inhabitants were the Illyrians, followed by the Celts in the fourth century, and the Romans a century after that.’
    • ‘He's seen it all - the passions of Illyrians, the conventions of romantic comedy, and the illusions of theatre - and of filmmaking.’
    • ‘The national ideology insists on an unequivocal ethnic relationship with the ancient Illyrians.’
    • ‘The Romans had a hard struggle before they succeeded finally in breaking the power of the Illyrians and in getting control of Bosnia and Herzegovina.’
    • ‘Albanians descend from the ancient Illyrians.’
  • 2mass noun The branch of the Indo-European family of languages represented by modern Albanian.

    • ‘Whether the Albanian language stems from Illyrian or Thracian, both, or neither is a matter of contention.’