Definition of Caucasian in US English:



  • 1North American White-skinned; of European origin.

    ‘twenty of the therapists were Caucasian, two were African American, and two were Hispanic’
    1. 1.1dated Relating to one of the traditional divisions of humankind, covering a broad group of peoples from Europe, western Asia, and parts of India and North Africa.
      european, non-black
      View synonyms
  • 2Relating to the Caucasus.

    • ‘I did not touch on the situation in Chechnya, nor the greater one in the entire Caucasian region.’
    • ‘Turnip-rooted chervil, Chaerophyllum bulbosum, an umbelliferous plant native to S. Europe and the Caucasian region, is quite different from cultivated or wild chervil.’
    • ‘Tighter security would target most foreigners but also people from the southern Russian republic of Chechnya and others of North Caucasian appearance.’
    • ‘Nomadic communities occupying the Eurasiatic steppes who, according to Herodotus, attacked the Cimmerians, living north and east of the Black Sea, causing them to withdraw south across the Volga and the Caucasian passes into Anatolia.’
    • ‘Yesterday's Mail on Sunday (not online) carries an article by Mark Almond, Lecturer in Modern History at Oriel College, Oxford, who wrote presciently about the Caucasian tinderbox last month.’
    • ‘One of the most important tasks facing military transport communications agencies is to effect movements of troops and military freight for the United Group of Forces in the North Caucasian region.’
    • ‘Dr Alec Rasizade is a Washington, D.C., based author, who specialised in writing about Caspian and Caucasian topics.’
    • ‘The Greater Caucasian mountain range rises in the north and the Southern Georgian Highlands in the south.’
    • ‘But the German army did not capture the main Caucasian oil region.’
    • ‘He is a senior associate at the Historical Research Center in Washington with special interest in the Caucasian and Caspian regions of the former Soviet Union.’
    • ‘One must remark here that the traditional Caucasian society has always been based on egalitarian principles, impeding the inculcation of capitalistic values.’
    • ‘Chechen and other Caucasian tribes mounted a prolonged resistance to Russian conquest beginning in the early nineteenth century under Imam Shamil.’
    • ‘The Khazars also gave their name to the Caucasian country of Georgia.’
    • ‘Despite the advantages deriving from the reliance on family or locality ties, Caucasian dealers increasingly feel the competition of Afghan and Tajik sellers, who have an incomparable strength.’
    • ‘He later told journalists that for the next two months he was convalescing in the house of a local police officer in Kabarda (western Caucasus) who sheltered him in conformity with the Caucasian custom of kunak sanctuary.’
    • ‘It gained prominence in connection with the well-known events in the North Caucasian region.’
    • ‘A Caucasian people, the Uighurs speak a Turkic language that is most like that spoken by the Uzbeks.’
    • ‘In 1994 serious unrest broke out in the Caucasian region of Chechnya, where Muslim Chechens declared an independent republic.’
    • ‘The only non-Russian and non-Iranian pipeline routes that connect Asia to the Black Sea must pass through the Caucasian states of Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia.’
    • ‘And no self-respecting Caucasian family lives without its personal armoury.’
  • 3Relating to a group of languages spoken in the region of the Caucasus, of which thirty-eight are known, many not committed to writing. The most widely spoken is Georgian, of the small South Caucasian family, not related to the three North Caucasian families.

    • ‘Abkhazian belongs to the northwest Caucasian family of languages spoken by the Abazins, Adyghey, Kabardians, and Circassians.’
    • ‘Georgian - a South Caucasian (or ‘Kartvelian’) language unrelated to any other outside the immediate region - is one of the oldest living languages in the world, and it has its own distinctive alphabet.’
    • ‘Nostratic, as originally proposed by Vladislav Illich-Svitych, consists of: Indo-European, Uralic, Altaic, Afro-Asiatic, Kartvelian (also known as South Caucasian), and Dravidian.’
    • ‘The majority language is Georgian, which belongs to the Kartvelian (South Caucasian) language group.’
    • ‘Georgian is part of the South Caucasian family of languages: Zan (Mengrelo-Chan), Svan, and Georgian proper (Kartuli).’
    • ‘However, the analysis to be offered below will in principle be extendible to the logophoric use of long-distance reflexives in e.g. European, Caucasian, and South Asian languages.’
    • ‘If the visitors were aware of the Abkhazians at all, they thought of them as a picturesque race of free villagers, speaking a strange North Caucasian tongue and living up in the foothills.’
    • ‘Thus it went, as we saw, with the great Bopp, when he sought to assign Caucasian and Malayan languages to the Indo-European language family.’
    • ‘Does he really think that Basque and the North Caucasian languages only reached their current locations in the 1420s?’


  • 1North American A white person; a person of European origin.

    ‘the man is described as being a 50-year-old Caucasian with a full head of graying hair’
  • 2A person from the Caucasus.

    ‘the Caucasians of Southern Russia’


In the racial classification as developed by anthropologists in the 19th century, Caucasian (or Caucasoid) included peoples whose skin color ranged from light (in northern Europe) to dark (in parts of North Africa and India). Although the classification is outdated and the categories are now not generally accepted as scientific (see Mongoloid), the term Caucasian has acquired a more restricted meaning. It is now used as a synonym for ‘white or of European origin,’ as in the police are looking for a Caucasian male in his forties