Definition of Indian in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɪndɪən/


1Relating 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.
2Relating 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.


1A 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.
2An 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.
3British informal An Indian meal or restaurant.
Example sentences
  • Shawlands now has an eclectic mix of places to eat, including a new Italian, two new Indians and a Kurdish restaurant.
  • Several pubs, two chippies - well, this is the North-East, after all - and three or four restaurants including a rather posh Indian and a darn good Italian.
  • Last Saturday night we went for an Indian, recommended by another Indian, Amit.


The native peoples of America came to be described as Indian as a result of Christopher Columbus and other voyagers in the 15th-16th centuries believing that, when they reached the east coast of America, they had reached part of India by a new route. The terms Indian and Red Indian are today regarded as old-fashioned and inappropriate, recalling, as they do, the stereotypical portraits of the Wild West. American Indian, however, is well established, although the preference where possible is to make reference to specific peoples, such as Apache, Delaware, and so on. See also American Indian (usage) and Native American.



(also Indianisation) noun
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.


(also Indianise) verb
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

Line breaks: In¦dian

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