Definition of Ossetian in English:


Pronunciation /ɒˈsiːʃən//ɒˈsɛtɪən/


  • 1mass noun A language of the Iranian group spoken in the central Caucasian region of Ossetia.

    • ‘The principal minority languages are Abkhazian, Armenian, Azeri, Ossetian, and Russian.’
    • ‘Ossetian is spoken on the slopes of the Caucasus Mountains.’
  • 2A native or inhabitant of Ossetia.

    • ‘The adjacent province of North Ossetia, also dominated by Ossetians, is part of Russia.’
    • ‘The Ossetians, for example, who are from the same ethnic branch as the Chechens, today are predominantly Christian.’
    • ‘Many South Ossetians have a greater affinity with the Russian region of North Ossetia than with Tbilisi.’
    • ‘During several centuries of common statehood, the Abkhaz, Armenians, Turks, and Ossetians partly preserved their cultural identities, while Albanians were fully assimilated.’
    • ‘Most Abkhazians and South Ossetians have taken out Russian citizenship and earn their living by trading with Russia.’


  • Relating to Ossetia or its language.

    • ‘Much information from this book has been summarised by Anna Chaudhri, who also introduced similar elements from Ossetian hunting lore.’
    • ‘At the time of writing, neither the Abkhaz nor the Ossetian conflicts have been resolved.’
    • ‘But, in spite of the intense piano playing, he had known since he was eight that he would be a conductor, simply because he had been told - and a good Ossetian boy does what he is told.’
    • ‘He is not, of course, Russian himself, but Ossetian.’