Definition of Afghan in US English:



  • 1A native or inhabitant of Afghanistan, or a person of Afghan descent.

    • ‘Then they said they would stay back and try to help the Afghans effect national reconciliation.’
    • ‘The government said the injured also included Afghans, Swiss, Australians and Canadians.’
    • ‘The Turks and Afghans who served in the Moghul Army are believed to have brought this dish to Hindustan.’
    • ‘The poorest Afghans and the richest Afghans are all coming back to the country to do what they can.’
    • ‘It also had a number of Afghans and Aborigines living in and around the town.’
    • ‘The largest single group of students are Chinese, followed by Afghans, Russians and Somalis.’
    • ‘What information do you have about other Afghans who have returned home or been sent home?’
    • ‘He said 5,000 Afghans had come to Britain in the last six months.’
    • ‘With the Russians gone, ordinary Afghans expected a return to calm.’
    • ‘This inhospitable and isolated place is temporarily home to some 33,000 displaced Afghans.’
    • ‘For two weeks American forces had been camped along with Romanians and Afghans in the centre of Kandahar.’
    • ‘The cultural context of the Indian soap opera was also very easy for Afghans to relate to, she said.’
    • ‘Roberts retrieved the situation that time, but the British lost to the Afghans again in 1919.’
    • ‘He is a Shiite Afghan by nationality who was raised in a farming community close to the Iranian border.’
    • ‘Some weapons will be blown up while usable weapons will be handed over to the Afghan's own national army, which is now being formed.’
    • ‘The Afghans munched on their pomegranates; an American soldier smoked a cigarette.’
    • ‘And some of the first relationships to develop were between Afghans and Aboriginal women.’
    • ‘They have nothing to do with the aspirations of the Kashmiris or the Afghans.’
    • ‘There is no such coverage and hence no such understanding of the plight of, for example, Afghans or Congolese.’
  • 2

    another term for Pashto
    • ‘The first and most important Afghan word the nurses learned was ‘dahrt,’ which means pain.’
    • ‘In fact, the neighboring district of Khash — located on the ancient Silk Road to China — is the source of the Afghan word for opium poppy.’
    • ‘I laughed and said, " You enquired if I spoke Afghan or not, and I told you I could, but you never asked me whether I spoke Turki or not.’
    • ‘The Afghan word for hope is Arman and that is exactly what the station is about.’
    • ‘Many people in Russia speak Afghan, and many people in Afghanistan speak Russian.’
  • 3A woolen blanket or shawl, typically one knitted or crocheted in strips or squares.

    • ‘My mother was also a world champion knitter who knit afghans, sweaters and all kinds of winter wear.’
    • ‘Her mother and her older sister were seated side-by-side on the couch, crocheting an afghan and watching a movie.’
    • ‘She sat down on the couch and threw an afghan around herself before clicking on the TV.’
    • ‘Tell everyone to bring along one of the afghans or quilts that she's given them over the years.’
    • ‘I sit down on the low sofa, covered by an afghan throw.’
    • ‘The room had one double bed covered in a green afghan, and a TV without a remote control stood in the corner.’
    • ‘He covered her with the afghan he found on the recliner and brushed her hair out of her face.’
    • ‘One half of the floor is covered in Persian rugs with chintz armchairs and red velvet couches, scattered haphazardly around the room, all covered in shawls and scarves and beaded afghans.’
    • ‘Here, take these afghans… there's an extra blanket there, too.’
    • ‘I sat on the green plastic chair covered with five afghans crocheted for him each year for Christmas by my mother.’
    • ‘Her quiet, peaceful times were spent knitting afghans for family and friends and patiently sewing beautiful needlework pictures that were displayed in her lovely home.’
    • ‘I also crocheted afghans and other things, as well as making quilts - all of which we used in home.’
    • ‘Her mother was curled up in bed, sweating in her pink flannel pajamas, covered with a crocheted afghan even in the summer heat.’
    • ‘One listener, a prisoner, crocheted afghans that he asked to be ‘auctioned off for the ministry.’’
    • ‘She hesitated then sat down in the chair beside him, tucking an afghan over her legs and finding a book to read.’
    • ‘Wrapping the turquoise afghan cover tighter around my shoulders, I began to walk back towards the cabin.’
    • ‘Smiling, she pulled away from Ben and laid a crocheted afghan over the slumbering boy.’
    • ‘She was knitting an afghan in the color of dandelions.’
    • ‘There will also be a variety of home crafts including knitted items and afghans, toys, books, paper goods and household items.’
    • ‘Then she crochets for hours, making scarves, afghans, and stuffed animals for family and friends.’
    cover, covering, rug, afghan, quilt, eiderdown, duvet
    View synonyms
  • 4

    short for Afghan hound
    • ‘It's been a tourist trap for so long that even my elder sister went there in the days when it was "hip" and they all wore Afghans.’
    • ‘Afghans require weekly baths and brushing to remove dead hair and to prevent the tangling and matting to which they are prone.’
    • ‘An Afghan's coat is long and silky and can be any colour.’
    • ‘The only type of brush capable of getting through an Afghan's coat is one with an air cushion behind the tufts.’
    • ‘The Afghan stands 27- 29 inches tall and weighs 58-64 pounds.’


  • Relating to Afghanistan, its people, or their language.

    • ‘Most of the original cameleers were from Afghanistan and the town is dotted with reminders of the people who shaped its past with Afghan street and place names.’
    • ‘Education should be an eye-opening experience; it certainly was for these three Afghan youngsters.’
    • ‘He wore Afghan clothes, spoke their languages, and understood their traditions.’
    • ‘Forty stone-faced, bearded men sat cross-legged on worn Afghan rugs.’
    • ‘First, the language in the constitution that requires Afghan law to be in accord with Islam was strengthened.’
    • ‘Up to 80 international employees are based in six Afghan cities - Kabul, Jalalabad, Mazar, Kandahar, Herat and Faizabad.’
    • ‘Then, after watching a brief bout between local fighters, he entered the ring himself, playfully feinting a few jabs with awestruck Afghan boxers.’
    • ‘The 1,600 delegates, Afghan men and women from throughout the country and the world, will pick a leader for the next two years.’
    • ‘These were called ‘Afghans’ in Algerian and were famous for actually wearing Afghan clothing.’
    • ‘The story is about two Afghan refugees living in a Pakistani refugee camp and their attempt to get to England - to the so-called promised land.’
    • ‘On Feb. 7, the Afghan Ministry of Defense flew a team of Afghan physicians and medical supplies to the town.’
    • ‘Traditionally, Afghan leaders owe their authority to their skill in battle, their wisdom in settling disputes and the resources they can access for their followers.’
    • ‘There are many brilliant Afghan women who were in the parliament, who were doctors, who were lawyers, who were the schoolteachers.’
    • ‘Second, having an Afghan leader eliminates the language barrier.’
    • ‘So many people, from around the world, came together to help this young Afghan boy.’
    • ‘Millions of Afghan refugees could face famine or death.’
    • ‘And this is basically Afghan policy, and very sensible too.’


From Pashto afghānī.