Definition of Indian in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈindēən/


1Relating to the indigenous peoples of America.
Example sentences
  • The top link of the food chain in this region belongs to the polar bears and the Inuit Indian people who are indigenous to this world of ice and cold.
  • Richard Gott writes on the deepening rebellion sweeping through Latin America and the key role played by indigenous Indian peoples
  • As with most Indian tribes in North America the lives of the Apache were destroyed as their life-blood, the buffalo were slaughtered by the whites.
2Relating to India or to the subcontinent comprising India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Example sentences
  • The city's large Asian population makes it is easier to integrate refugees from the Indian sub-continent including Pakistan and Bangladesh.
  • It is no coincidence that these countries are among the poorest on the planet and include Sudan, Ethiopia, Senegal, Afghanistan and parts of the Indian sub-continent.
  • A spokesman for Pakistan further enraged Indian opinion by answering that India may have staged the attack upon itself.


1An American Indian.
Example sentences
  • Yet again Hollywood exploits another massacre, that of the Sioux Indians at Wounded Knee.
  • The practice of smoking tobacco came from the native American Indians and the Carib Indians of Tobago.
  • This battle involved the U.S.A. army against the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians.
2A native or inhabitant of India, or a person of Indian descent.
Example sentences
  • Native Indians and nationalism, the subjects of these two books, are both topics highly relevant to globalisation.
  • However, there might be differences in this phenotype between immigrant and native Asian Indians.
  • The second main group were foreign nationals; Indians, Singapore Chinese, Africans and others.


Indian, meaning ‘native of America before the arrival of Europeans,’ is objected to by many who now favor Native American. There are others (including many members of these ethnic groups), however, who see nothing wrong with Indian or American Indian, which are long-established terms, although the preference where possible is to refer to specific peoples, as Apache, Delaware, and so on. The terms Amerind and Amerindian, once proposed as alternatives to Indian, are used in linguistics and anthropology, but have never gained widespread use. Newer alternatives, not widely used or established, include First Nation (especially in Canada) and the more generic aboriginal peoples. It should be noted that Indian is held by many not to include some American groups—for example, Aleuts and Eskimos. A further consideration is that Indian also (and in some contexts, primarily) refers to inhabitants of India or their descendants, who may be referred to as ‘Asian Indians’ to prevent misunderstanding. See also American Indian (usage).



Pronunciation: /ˌindēəniˈzāSHən/
Example sentences
  • Yes, the Indianization of this all American town, situated in the Hempstead Plains, is taking place, one samosa at a time.
  • The Vidyapeeth had played an important role in the Indianisation of the Church.
  • Yet the civil service was forced to relent and, as it began to subscribe to the dictates of professionalization, Indianization began to occur.


Pronunciation: /-ˌnīz/
Example sentences
  • That is why every effort is being made to ‘Mexicanize the Indians’ rather than to ‘Indianize the Mexicans.’
  • ‘These non-Hindus are not foreigners but ex-Hindus, they are Indians but their faiths will have to be Indianised.’
  • While there are numerous advantages of greater integration to all countries, there is also the fear of being swamped by an increasingly Indianised Hindu culture.


Example sentences
  • When I meet an Indian, I want to feel the Indianness.
  • ‘He plays the sitar, he's very much in touch with Indian music and the Indianness,’ says the singer, musician and actor.
  • Is Indianness, then, a state of mind, or a badge of ethnicity?

Words that rhyme with Indian


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: In·di·an

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