Aryan – Definition & Meaning

The term Aryan has been a topic of debate for centuries. It has been used in various contexts and has caused confusion and controversy. The word Aryan has been used to describe a race, a language, and a culture. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of Aryan.


The definition of Aryan has evolved over time. Originally, it referred to a group of people who spoke an Indo-European language and settled in the Indian subcontinent. Later, it was used to describe a race of people with fair skin, light hair, and blue eyes. This definition was popularized by Nazi Germany, which used the term to describe the supposed superior race of Germans.
In modern times, the term Aryan is used more broadly to refer to the Indo-European language family and the people who speak those languages. It is also used to describe the ancient Iranian people who lived in the region that is now Iran.


The word Aryan comes from the Sanskrit word ārya, which means noble or honorable. The term was used by the ancient Indo-Iranian people to describe themselves and their language. The word spread to other cultures and languages, including Greek, Latin, and German.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of Aryan varies depending on the dictionary. The Oxford English Dictionary defines Aryan as “a member of the ancient Aryan people, who spoke an Indo-European language and migrated to India in the 2nd millennium BC.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Aryan as “a member of a people speaking an Indo-European language who entered India about 1500 BC.” The Cambridge Dictionary defines Aryan as “relating to the group of people who spoke the original Aryan language and lived in parts of Europe and Asia, or relating to their modern descendants.”


The term Aryan has been associated with white supremacy and racism due to its use by Nazi Germany. However, this association is not accurate and is based on a misinterpretation of the term. The original meaning of Aryan had nothing to do with race or skin color.


Some synonyms of Aryan include Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, and Iranian.


There are no official antonyms of Aryan as it is not a binary term.

The same root words

The Sanskrit word ārya, which is the root of Aryan, is also the root of the word Aryavarta, which means the land of the Aryans. It is also the root of the word Arhat, which means a Buddhist who has achieved enlightenment.

Example Sentences

  1. The Aryan language family includes languages such as English, Spanish, and Hindi.
  2. The ancient Aryan people migrated to India in the 2nd millennium BC.
  3. The term Aryan has been misused by white supremacists to promote racism.
  4. The Iranian people are descendants of the ancient Aryan people.
  5. The word Arhat comes from the same root word as Aryan.
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