Definition of Asian in English:



  • Relating to Asia or its people, customs, or languages.

    • ‘Fish was the dish of the day as a brave Bradford chef attempted to create the world's largest Asian dish.’
    • ‘The awards identify some of the most prominent and successful Asian people in the country.’
    • ‘He will not need a lengthy learning period before getting up to speed on Asian issues.’
    • ‘He said that another chief theme was to get more Asian women into business.’
    • ‘Korea is the old powerhouse of Asian soccer and of relative World Cup vintage.’
    • ‘I doubt whether Punjabi or the dozens of other Asian languages have this kind of importance.’
    • ‘A new heated discussion is taking place now between the five Central Asian countries.’
    • ‘They came across a group of seven or eight Asian youths, gathered behind a garden wall.’
    • ‘It is also a denial of that girl's right to fulfil her potential at a time when many Asian girls are doing well at school.’
    • ‘Her personal message to any young Asian woman is to go for it, however unlikely it may seem.’
    • ‘I guess it finally hit me because we ended up at a rather weird Asian noodle place for lunch.’
    • ‘It's good to show everyone that Asian people do have a great sense of humour.’
    • ‘Fred and I rarely eat Asian food at home, but maybe this simple recipe will help change that.’
    • ‘All that were visible were groups of young Asian men, standing on the balconies of the rebuilt block.’
    • ‘She has opened eight Asian dance academies and is now lined up to work with Gareth Gates on his latest tour.’
    • ‘An activity zone will feature a range of traditional Asian activities including how to put on a sari.’
    • ‘There is a fantastic array of dishes on offer with everything from continental to Asian cuisine.’
    • ‘As the violence escalated several Asian businesses along Legrams Lane were smashed.’
    • ‘There is a shortage of European language interpreters but no lack of Asian language speakers.’
    • ‘Similarly, my local library is full of books in Asian languages but no books in Gaelic.’


  • A native of Asia or a person of Asian descent.

    • ‘Its sharp, contemporary tone and content is designed to reflect the issues that matter to British Asians.’
    • ‘Five young Asians told us how they are adopting the tradition of arranged marriages to suit their modern needs.’
    • ‘Note that I am in no way disrespecting Asia, Asians or Asian products with this name.’
    • ‘The station was given the title after being the popular vote of UK Asians.’
    • ‘It was also responsible for a gradual introduction of Indians and other Asians into British society.’
    • ‘The many successes achieved by young British Asians in all areas of our creative industries are too little known.’
    • ‘They look like typically articulate and casually dressed young Asians.’
    • ‘It's heartening that the finalists have included Asians, West Indians and Chinese.’
    • ‘This is extremely useful as it gives a real idea of what influence this growing band of Asians had on British life.’
    • ‘The Japanese, like other Asians, rarely bake or roast, so most cooking takes place on the stove or range top.’
    • ‘Rice is so important to the Asian diet that it may be the main component of almost all the meals Asians consume.’
    • ‘To see what is really bothering young Asians, look no further than BBC radio's Asian Network.’
    • ‘Alex Sonson complained that merely introducing the bill raised harmful stereotypes about Asians.’
    • ‘He has led the way for many Scottish Asians to follow his lead and play for their country.’
    • ‘The problem centres on the different ways in which Asians and Africans are treated in the census form.’
    • ‘This last fact is of little interest to the Japanese - like most Asians, they have no fear of MSG.’
    • ‘I have met many Asians for whom, after living for a lifetime in London, an English home remains a curiosity.’
    • ‘One, which greatly appealed to him, was the opportunity to cast Asians in the Asian roles.’
    • ‘The emergence of British Asians in contemporary music is a good example.’
    • ‘It was the shock treatment that east Asians needed to make them see the need for reform.’


In North America, Asian refers to people from China, Japan, and other countries of East Asia, while in Britain it is used to refer to people who come from (or whose parents came from) India, Pakistan, or elsewhere in South Asia. See also oriental


Late Middle English: from Latin Asianus, from Greek Asianos, from Asia (see Asia).