Definition of Abyssinian in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /abɪˈsɪnɪən/


Relating to Abyssinia or its people.
Example sentences
  • The myth also is rich with the flavor of Abyssinian culture: the sending of pleasing gifts to beg an invitation, Solomon's craftiness, and Menelik's transferring the power of the Ark to his own land.
  • By August 1940 there were more than 92,000 Italian and 250,000 Abyssinian troops under arms; the British had only 40,000, nearly all of whom had been raised locally.
  • Those ancient Greek athletes were running on something special then, ground-up hooves of Abyssinian asses.


1 historical A native of Abyssinia.
Example sentences
  • Above all, they have largely succeeded in their avowed aim, from Mussolini's bombing of the Abyssinians and the killing of all men in the town of Lidice in reprisal for the killing of one man, down to the ‘Christmas bombing’ of Hanoi in 1972.
  • Gow highlights how the Oromo in exile are faced with the familiar processes of debasement and humiliation of their identity by the Abyssinians - the ruling people of Ethiopia - even in exile.
  • The Italians had attempted to expand in eastern Africa by joining Abyssinia to her conquests, but in 1896, the Italians were heavily defeated by the Abyssinians at the Battle of Adowa.
2 (also Abyssinian cat) A cat of a breed having long ears and short brown hair flecked with grey.
Example sentences
  • Breeders will be allowed to breed ocicats to Abyssinians until 2005.
  • She settled on Burmese and Abyssinians but has bred everything from Somalis to Tonkanese.
  • Cats in general and at least two breeds in particular - the Egyptian mau and the Abyssinian - are said to have descended from wild cats first domesticated by the Egyptians roughly 4,000 years ago, give or take a few dynasties.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Abys¦sin|ian

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.