Definition of Tajik in US English:


(also Tadjik, Tadzhik)


  • 1A member of a mainly Muslim people inhabiting Tajikistan and parts of neighboring countries.

    • ‘But the plan is for many of the cabinet positions to have ethnic Tajiks, ethnic Uzbeks, and other ethnicities to even out the cabinet along with the leadership.’
    • ‘The majority are Turkic peoples; exceptions include the Uighurs and Kazakhs in Chinese Xinjiang and the Tajiks, who are ethnically and linguistically Indo-Iranian.’
    • ‘I'd been to that part of the world five times before, and in the process I'd picked up a lot of useful information: how to tell an Uzbek from a Tajik, why Herat is the coolest city in Afghanistan and how much it costs to hitch a ride.’
    • ‘Our committee is working for the promotion of cricket throughout Afghanistan, and we don't care if people are Uzbek, Tajik, Afghan or Persian.’
    • ‘Afghans no longer call themselves just Afghan, or even Pashtuns and Tajiks, but Kandaharis, Panjshiris, Heratis, or Kabulis.’
    • ‘Although Afghanistan is often described as a simple ethnic division, with Tajiks and Uzbeks in the north and Pashtuns in the south and east, this is an oversimplification.’
    • ‘Our young Afghan translator, a Tajik who had studied English for one year in high school in Pakistan, improved his command of English daily, too.’
    • ‘Shortages of food, clothes, and other essential items exacerbated ethnic tensions between the local Tajiks, Uzbeks, Kyrgiz and the Russian Diaspora.’
    • ‘Since the tenth century, the Tajiks have been ruled by others, mostly Turks and Russians.’
    • ‘Afghanistan's interim cabinet is made up of 11 Pashtuns, eight Tajiks, five Hazaras, three Uzbeks and three people from other ethnic groups.’
    • ‘Male-female relations among the Kyrgyz are less formal and less rigid than among their neighbors, the Uzbeks or Tajiks.’
    • ‘The two most important groups are the ethnic Tajiks and the Pashtuns.’
    • ‘There are reports that in newly formed units the Tajiks outnumber other ethnicities, including the Pashtuns, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan.’
    • ‘The people of the area are mostly Tajiks, a Muslim ethnic minority who speak an Iranian language.’
    • ‘Note the faces - Azaris, Pashtuns, Tajiks - a genuine ethnic blend of historically divided Afghan peoples.’
    • ‘However, other ethnic communities do not call themselves by such a designation but identify themselves by their respective ethnic name such as Tajik, Hazara, Baluch, etc.’
    • ‘We noticed that Badshah Khan's references to the Pakhtuns' neighbours - Punjabis in Pakistan, Tajiks in Afghanistan, and Iranians - were not always magnanimous.’
    • ‘Afghanistan is homeland to diverse ethnic communities such as Pushtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Turkman, etc., each with its unique culture, tradition and historical development.’
    • ‘The officer corps before 1963 was not all-inclusive, however, and was dominated by Pashtuns and Tajiks.’
    • ‘We have Hazaras, we have Pashtuns, we have Tajiks, we have Uzbeks, we have Pashai, Nooristani, and people coming from the very remote areas of Afghanistan.’
    1. 1.1 A native or inhabitant of the republic of Tajikistan.
      • ‘Tajiks are the largest ethnic group, with Uzbeks making up a quarter of the population, over half of which is employed in agriculture and just one-fifth in industry.’
      • ‘The national sport of the Tajiks, gushtigiri, has a colorful tradition.’
  • 2The language of the Tajiks, a member of the Iranian branch of the Indo-European family.

    • ‘In 1989 Tajiki became the sole official language of the country, replacing Russian and Uzbeki.’
    • ‘In the first years after independence many non-Central Asian peoples emigrated because of the establishment of Tajiki as the official language, dissatisfaction with the standard of living, and fear of political violence.’
    • ‘A very substantial minority speaks a form of Persian called Tajik (about a third of Uzbeks, and the majority in Tajikistan).’
    • ‘About 14 percent of the population - mostly non-Uzbek - speak Russian as their first language; 5 percent speak Tajik.’
    • ‘Paul Bergne, a former Ambassador to Uzbekistan who speaks fluent Tajik, was briefed earlier this week.’
    • ‘None of the languages of the Shughni-Rushani group has achieved the status of a written language, although recently attempts have been made to design a suitable script for Shughni; Tajik or Persian is generally used for writing.’


  • Relating to Tajikistan, the Tajiks, or their language.

    • ‘One of the few areas where a pan-Afghan identity has emerged is through popular music, which is a hybrid of the Pashtun musical style with a lot of Tajik language.’
    • ‘Many Tajiks consider themselves Uzbek, though they retain the Tajik language; this may be because they have long shared an urban lifestyle, which was more of a bond than ethnic labels.’
    • ‘We could be stopped by Tajik guards and sent back, forced to retrace our journey in reverse.’
    • ‘In the early 19th century the two well-known cities of Samarqand and Bokhara served as the intellectual centre for the Tajik community and constituted the majority of the cities' population.’
    • ‘Once in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, a $50 taxi ride to the Afghan border on the Amu Darya River is now $500.’
    • ‘The curriculum includes the Tajik language and classical Persian literature.’
    • ‘From Turkey, he boards a Tajik jet on a route that Soviet-era Aeroflot pilots used to receive extra danger pay for flying, because of the difficult, high terrain and primitive aerospace infrastructure.’
    • ‘Because there was no bridge to cross the river, people from the Hazara village, located above Kakrag, were forced to cross the Tajik villagers' farmland with their carts.’
    • ‘We have pledged to modernise the Tedaz aluminium plant and have an agreement with the Tajik government to buy a stake in a hydropower plant.’
    • ‘I quite fancy the life of a goatherd in the Tajik hills, playing music on a bucket with spoons and wearing those cool trousers while dancing round a campfire toasting small woodland creatures.’


From Persian tājik ‘a Persian, someone who is neither an Arab nor a Turk’.