Definition of Dravidian in English:

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Pronunciation: /drəˈvɪdɪən/


Relating to or denoting a family of languages spoken in southern India and Sri Lanka, or the peoples who speak them.
Example sentences
  • It also has borrowed words from Dravidian languages of southern India, mostly Tamil.
  • The Dravidian groups include the Gond, Oraon, Khond, Malto, Bhil, Mina, Garasia, Pradhan etc. and speak Austric or Dravidian family of languages.
  • Some evidence for this can be seen in Table 3.5, which shows some regional and caste differences in lexicon and grammar from two regional and social dialects of Kannarese, a Dravidian language spoken in south India.


1 [mass noun] The Dravidian family of languages.
Example sentences
  • One was Dravidian, a language family now centered on southern India.
  • Mann abstracts a passage from the Bhagavata Purana to illustrate the interwoven strands of Aryan and Dravidian in the story.
2A member of any of the peoples speaking a Dravidian language.
Example sentences
  • By language we are Tamils, by race Dravidians and by nationality Indians.
  • One of the underlying themes of Sinhala chauvinism is the superiority of the ‘Aryan’ Sinhalese over the southern Indian Dravidians or Tamils.
  • As I mentioned earlier, racially and linguistically, the East Indians and Africans have a common origin, going back to the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians, Phoenicians, and Dravidians.

Dravidian languages were once spoken throughout the Indian subcontinent, but were restricted to the south following the arrival of speakers of Indic languages circa 1000 bc. Those still used, by over 160 million people, include Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, and Telugu.


From Sanskrit drāviḍa 'relating to the Tamils' (from Dravida 'Tamil') + -ian.

Words that rhyme with Dravidian

ascidian, Derridean, enchiridion, Euclidean, Floridian, Gideon, Lydian, meridian, Numidian, obsidian, Pisidian, quotidian, viridian

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Dra¦vid|ian

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