Definition of Persian in English:

Persian

noun

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

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

    Also called Farsi
    • ‘Many European languages, but also Oriental languages are represented, such as Arabic, Persian, Syriac, Hebrew and even Chinese.’
    • ‘It is a pleasant amalgam of Persian, Arabic, Marathi, and Hindustani with Konkani as its base.’
    • ‘Theaters show movies in Hindi, Urdu, Persian, Arabic, and English.’
    • ‘Urdu is a blend of four different languages - Hindi, Arabic, Persian, and Turkish - and is also spoken by Muslims in India.’
    • ‘He saw old manuscripts and spoke about similarities of Urdu, Arabic and Persian.’
    • ‘The Malay language borrows heavily from other languages, including Sanskrit, Portuguese, Persian, Arabic, and English.’
    • ‘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 is a linguist and fluently speaks in Urdu, Persian, Tamil, Nepali, Bengali, Hindi and Assamese, besides English and Khasi languages.’
    • ‘In Southwest Asia, Persian, Semitic, and Turkic languages identify various ethnic groups.’
    • ‘Urdu was created by combining the languages of early invaders and settlers, including Arabic, Persian, and Turkish.’
    • ‘Modern Kurdish names are mostly Arabic or Persian.’
    • ‘There were particularly large gains for online services in English, Arabic, Spanish and Persian.’
    • ‘Some speak Spanish, Persian, or American Sign Language.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Loanwords from English, Arabic, Portuguese, Persian, and Hindi are also common, reflecting the history of the nation.’
    • ‘Middle Persian is, in essence, today's Persian.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If successful, the World Service site plans to introduce this option in other languages including Arabic, Persian and Spanish later in the year.’
    1. 2.1 An 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.

    • ‘In 525 B., Cambyses, the son of Cyrus the Great, led a Persian invasion force that dethroned the last pharaoh of the 26th Dynasty.’
    • ‘Against overwhelming odds, he led his army to victories across the Persian territories of Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt without incurring a single defeat.’
    • ‘In 1218, a caravan of merchants arrived at Utrar, on the Persian frontier.’
    • ‘The Muscat rulers established trading posts on the Persian coast and also exercised a measure of control over the Makran coast (now Pakistan).’
    • ‘Once the king was seen abandoning the field - he was easy to spot in his golden chariot - the Persian army collapsed.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In 538 BC Persian emperor Cyrus defeated the Babylonians and Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The restaurant has a clean look, its teal walls decorated with a few pictures of Persian artifacts and Iran.’
    • ‘He took a Persian wife, and encouraged his officers to do likewise, arguing against the traditional Greek parochialism.’
    • ‘Now that he was king of Persia, Alexander began to adopt Persian dress, at least when dealing with Persian subjects.’
    • ‘Though chapter 4 does provide information on ancient Persian medicine, it would have been better if it had covered more elaborate information.’
    • ‘Our bus has been chugging uphill out of the city of Shiraz in southern Iran on the road to Persepolis, the ancient Persian capital.’
    • ‘The Athenian fleet was operating in the northern Aegean, with a combined Corinthian and Spartan navy (now financed by Persian gold) in pursuit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Evidence of popular fascination with Iran's Persian heritage is everywhere.’

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/