Definition of Persian in English:

Persian

noun

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

    • ‘After all, the laws of the Medes and Persians never changed at all.’
    • ‘The Medes and the Persians were subsequently united by marriage connections.’
    • ‘The Greeks seem to have been fascinated by the splendid costumes of the Persians and the bodies they concealed.’
    • ‘Between the 4th and 19th centuries, Armenia was conquered and ruled by, among others, Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Mongols, and Turks.’
    • ‘The Egyptians embalmed bodies; the ancient Babylonians and Persians stuck them into jars of honey and wax.’
    • ‘Seventy years later, when the Babylonians fell to the Persians and the Jews were permitted to return, only a small number did.’
    • ‘The Saluki and the horse are prized possessions of the Arabs and the Persians.’
    • ‘Arabs, Syrians, Persians and other Orientals exhibited great interest in this subject even before this period in history.’
    • ‘To the Persians and Arabs the word Hindu covered both the lands watered by the Sindhu and the people living there and beyond.’
    • ‘Misfortune and politics place them between the Arabs, Turks and Persians.’
    • ‘Muslim Arabs and Persians established trading routes in the area between the 7th and 10th centuries AD.’
    • ‘More than 4,000 years ago, the ancient Assyrians, Persians, and Babylonians used mastiffs wearing spiked collars to attack their enemies.’
    • ‘The Aryans were supposedly the ancestors of the Greeks, Persians, Indians, Scandinavians, Anglo-Saxons & Germans.’
    • ‘There are also smaller groups of Ukrainians, Turks, Persians, and Jews.’
    • ‘The ancient Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans and East Indians used it to treat certain illnesses.’
    • ‘The encounter with Persians and Arabs infused a new vitality into Indian music, resulting in the sublime form of khayal.’
    • ‘They also used lead-based powder to whiten their complexions as the ancient Persians did.’
    • ‘For instance, it is not known exactly how the Norooz festival was viewed in terms of religious beliefs by ancient Persians.’
    • ‘At different times it has been occupied by Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Mongols, Turks and Russians.’
    • ‘Ancient Persians believed that pomegranate seeds made their warriors invincible.’
    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.
      • ‘For 14 years, I shared my home with two cats, one of them a jet-black Persian.’
      • ‘By that time Persians and other longhair cats - namely the Angora and the Russian - outnumbered shorthairs four-to-one at shows.’
      • ‘Choose a grown up cat from a pet sanctuary, and preferably not a Persian cat which needs plenty of attention to its fur.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In 1903 Frances Simpson, an English cat breeder and judge, declared there should be two separate breeds of Persian - the longhair and shorthair.’
      • ‘The outlet is not restricted to canine alone and one can find some lovely Persian cats, cute little guinea pigs and chirpy exotic birds.’
      • ‘He doesn't place his Siamese kitten along with the Persians, apparently for fear of cross-breeding.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The prominent use of Persians in exotic shorthair breeding programs ensures the continued creation of exotics that carry a recessive gene for long hair.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘His coat is naturally beautiful and he doesn't really need a trim,’ said Diane, who also owns five Persian cats.’
      • ‘To be fair, actually, that credit should go to the American shorthair fanciers who bred some of their cats to Persians.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A Persian cat is the same as an Angora cat, which is sometimes called an Angola cat.’
    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
    • ‘It is a pleasant amalgam of Persian, Arabic, Marathi, and Hindustani with Konkani as its base.’
    • ‘There were particularly large gains for online services in English, Arabic, Spanish and Persian.’
    • ‘Urdu is a blend of four different languages - Hindi, Arabic, Persian, and Turkish - and is also spoken by Muslims in India.’
    • ‘If successful, the World Service site plans to introduce this option in other languages including Arabic, Persian and Spanish later in the year.’
    • ‘Loanwords from English, Arabic, Portuguese, Persian, and Hindi are also common, reflecting the history of the nation.’
    • ‘Urdu was created by combining the languages of early invaders and settlers, including Arabic, Persian, and Turkish.’
    • ‘A very substantial minority speaks a form of Persian called Tajik (about a third of Uzbeks, and the majority in Tajikistan).’
    • ‘Middle Persian is, in essence, today's Persian.’
    • ‘In Southwest Asia, Persian, Semitic, and Turkic languages identify various ethnic groups.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Written Persian is transcribed by a modified version of Arabic script, even though Persian is a member of the Indo-European family of languages.’
    • ‘Many European languages, but also Oriental languages are represented, such as Arabic, Persian, Syriac, Hebrew and even Chinese.’
    • ‘Theaters show movies in Hindi, Urdu, Persian, Arabic, and English.’
    • ‘There are many borrowed words from Arabic, Persian, and Russian, especially for technical and scientific terms.’
    • ‘He is a linguist and fluently speaks in Urdu, Persian, Tamil, Nepali, Bengali, Hindi and Assamese, besides English and Khasi languages.’
    • ‘He saw old manuscripts and spoke about similarities of Urdu, Arabic and Persian.’
    • ‘Modern Kurdish names are mostly Arabic or Persian.’
    • ‘He even translated the Upanishads into Persian.’
    • ‘The Malay language borrows heavily from other languages, including Sanskrit, Portuguese, Persian, Arabic, and English.’
    • ‘Some speak Spanish, Persian, or American Sign Language.’
    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.

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

Persian (or Farsi) is spoken by over 30 million people in Iran, by about 5 million in Afghanistan (as Dari), and by another 2.2 million in Tajikistan (as Tajik). Old Persian, written in cuneiform and attested from the 6th century BC, was the language of the Persian empire, which once spread from the Mediterranean to India. In the 2nd century BC the Persians created their own alphabet (Pahlavi), which was used until the Islamic conquest in the 7th century

Origin

Middle English: from Old French persien, from Latin Persia, via Greek from Old Persian pārsa ‘Persia’ ( modern Persian pārs, Arabic fārs).

Pronunciation

Persian

/ˈpəːʒ(ə)n//ˈpəːʃ(ə)n/