Definition of Karachai in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌkarəˈCHī/

noun (plural same or Karachais)

1A member of an indigenous people living in Karachai-Cherkessia.
Example sentences
  • The chapters are unbalanced: the author, for example, devotes thirty-two pages to the Germans, eleven to the Koreans, and only five to the Karachays.
  • The compiler's footnote states that ‘the belief existed among the ancient Balkars and Karachays that the meat of a white deer cures all illnesses’.
  • Balkarians and Karachais had most friendly culture-economic relations with all the neighboring peoples.
2 (also Karachai-Balkar) The Turkic language of the Karachai.
Example sentences
  • They speak a dialect of Karachay-Balkar, which belongs to the Kypchak division of the Uralo-Altaic language family.
  • Among dead languages, the closest to Karachay-Balkar are Old Bulgar and Kuman-Kipchak, and among living languages the closest are Kumyk, Crimean Tatar, and the Karaite languages.
  • The closest related languages are Kumyk, Karachay-Balkar and Crimean Tatar.


Relating to the Karachai or their language.
Example sentences
  • In recent years, the Russian authorities have charged that ethnic Karachai, not Chechens, were responsible for the apartment bombings, and two Karachai men were tried in secret, with the sentences only being made public in 2004.
  • Officially, 93,000 Kalmyks, 68,000 Karachai people, 500,000 Chechens, 340,000 Balkars and 180,000 Tartars were deported.
  • In the Karachayevo-Cherkas oblast a Karachai national committee was formed and enjoyed some autonomy, and a Cossack region, also with a degree of autonomy, was set up in the Kuban in October 1942.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Ka·ra·chai

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