Definition of Indo-European in English:



  • 1Relating to the family of languages spoken over the greater part of Europe and Asia as far as northern India.

    • ‘Written Persian is transcribed by a modified version of Arabic script, even though Persian is a member of the Indo-European family of languages.’
    • ‘It is an Indo-European language of the Slavonic family.’
    • ‘They speak Tibeto-Burman languages and are also conversant in Indo-European languages, such as Hindi or Assamese.’
    • ‘Most Indian languages belong to the Indo-European or Dravidian families.’
    • ‘Gypsies speak Romany, an Indic language of the Indo-European language family.’
    • ‘Another misconception is that Iranians are Arabs, when most Iranians are Persians who speak Farsi, an Indo-European language, which uses Arabic script.’
    • ‘Bantu, Khoisan, and Indo-European languages are spoken in Botswana.’
    • ‘First, consider the Indo-European language family, almost everyone's favorite source of illustrations of how languages are related.’
    • ‘Thus, Sanskrit, instead of being the mother of all Indo-European languages, became just a branch of their huge family.’
    • ‘The Croats speak Croatian, a South Slavic language of the Indo-European family.’
    • ‘The northern Kurdish minority in Iraq is not Arab but speaks an Indo-European language, and its religious tendencies are seldom fundamentalist.’
    • ‘In the early nineteenth century, language historians identified German as a member of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages.’
    • ‘Nearly all Brazilians speak Portuguese, a Romance language, belonging to the Indo-European language family.’
    • ‘Europe shows a remarkable linguistic homogeneity, with most of the populations speaking languages belonging to the Indo-European family.’
    • ‘Even this limited sample shows the inter-relatedness of all the languages in the above columns, which are all of the Indo-European language family.’
    • ‘It is not of Semitic origin nor an Arab or Persian dialect, but a distinct language from the Indo-European family.’
    • ‘For over 200 years linguists have debated when - and by whom - the Indo-European group of languages began to be spread across Europe and Asia.’
    • ‘The Kurdish minority of northern Iraq speaks an Indo-European language very different from the Semitic language of Arabic.’
    1. 1.1
      another term for Proto-Indo-European
      • ‘At this time also successive waves of peoples gradually filtered into the area who spoke an Indo-European language that later became the prototype of Greek.’
      • ‘This they take to support the theory that Indo-European originated in Anatolia and that Indo-European languages arrived in Europe with the spread of agriculture.’
      • ‘Nomadic tribes speaking Indo-European languages descended from the mountain passes in the northwest to settle on the plains of the Punjab around 1700 BC.’


  • 1The ancestral Proto-Indo-European language.

    • ‘Jones identified the connections between Sanskrit and Latin and Greek, and first proposed that they all derived from a single language, Indo-European.’
    • ‘The tree describes the passage from unity to diversity: one tree, with many branches: from Indo-European, to dozens of different languages.’
    • ‘This would mean that ancestral Indo-European arose in 8100 B.B., plus or minus 1,900 years, considerably earlier than previous estimates of about 4000 B.C.’
    • ‘In English, the roots of many words can be found in Latin and Greek and in the language that most likely predated them, called Indo-European.’
    • ‘In 1786 he identified similarities or ‘affinities’ between Latin, Greek and Sanskrit, which eventually led to the parent language hypothesis of Indo-European.’
    1. 1.1 The Indo-European family of languages.
      • ‘Alliterative meter also seems to predominate in the very earliest texts from the third western branch of Indo-European, Italic.’
      • ‘Pashtu belongs to the North-Eastern group of languages within the Iranian branch of Indo-European.’
      • ‘Indo-Aryan, a branch of Indo-European, covers the northern half of the country, and the Dravidian family covers the southern third.’
      • ‘English is shown within a partial family tree of Indo-European.’
      • ‘Minorities in China speak more than 80 languages from five language families: Sino-Tibetan, Altaic, Austro - Asiatic, Austronesian, and Indo-European.’
  • 2A speaker of an Indo-European language, especially Proto-Indo-European.

    • ‘They are not Indo-Europeans and they most likely came from the Near East if not the Orient (this was the argument of Herodotus).’
    • ‘Some of the women are ethnically Iranian, which means that they are Indo-Europeans, and speak Persian.’