Definition of Nostratic in English:



  • A hypothetical phylum of languages of which the principal members are the Indo-European, Semitic, Altaic, and Dravidian families.

    • ‘The material focuses on the quest for the linguists' holy grail - Nostratic - a hypothetical tongue that some maintain was once the universal spoken language.’
    • ‘This superfamily, called Dene-Caucasian, was probably used throughout Eurasia before either Nostratic, or Eurasiatic, spread.’
    • ‘The impression that most readers will be left with is that Eurasiatic, Nostratic, and ‘New Guinea’ are established language families and that Nostratic, Sino-Tibetan, and ‘New Guinea’ are known to be related.’


  • Relating to the Nostratic language phylum.

    • ‘Polish belongs to the west Slavic group of languages of the Indo-European language family, which in turn is part of the Nostratic macrofamily.’


1960s: from German nostratisch, based on Latin nostras, nostrat- of our country.