Meaning of Indo-European in English:



Translate Indo-European into Spanish


  • 1Relating to the family of languages spoken over the greater part of Europe and Asia as far as northern India.

    ‘The Kurdish minority of northern Iraq speaks an Indo-European language very different from the Semitic language of Arabic.’
    • ‘Europe shows a remarkable linguistic homogeneity, with most of the populations speaking languages belonging to the Indo-European family.’
    • ‘Nearly all Brazilians speak Portuguese, a Romance language, belonging to the Indo-European language family.’
    • ‘The Croats speak Croatian, a South Slavic language of the Indo-European family.’
    • ‘Gypsies speak Romany, an Indic language of the Indo-European language family.’
    • ‘The northern Kurdish minority in Iraq is not Arab but speaks an Indo-European language, and its religious tendencies are seldom fundamentalist.’
    • ‘Even this limited sample shows the inter-relatedness of all the languages in the above columns, which are all of the Indo-European language family.’
    • ‘Another misconception is that Iranians are Arabs, when most Iranians are Persians who speak Farsi, an Indo-European language, which uses Arabic script.’
    • ‘First, consider the Indo-European language family, almost everyone's favorite source of illustrations of how languages are related.’
    • ‘In the early nineteenth century, language historians identified German as a member of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages.’
    • ‘Written Persian is transcribed by a modified version of Arabic script, even though Persian is a member of the Indo-European family of languages.’
    • ‘Bantu, Khoisan, and Indo-European languages are spoken in Botswana.’
    • ‘It is not of Semitic origin nor an Arab or Persian dialect, but a distinct language from the Indo-European family.’
    • ‘They speak Tibeto-Burman languages and are also conversant in Indo-European languages, such as Hindi or Assamese.’
    • ‘For over 200 years linguists have debated when - and by whom - the Indo-European group of languages began to be spread across Europe and Asia.’
    • ‘It is an Indo-European language of the Slavonic family.’
    • ‘Most Indian languages belong to the Indo-European or Dravidian families.’
    • ‘Thus, Sanskrit, instead of being the mother of all Indo-European languages, became just a branch of their huge family.’
    1. 1.1
      another term for Proto-Indo-European
      ‘Nomadic tribes speaking Indo-European languages descended from the mountain passes in the northwest to settle on the plains of the Punjab around 1700 BC.’
      • ‘This they take to support the theory that Indo-European originated in Anatolia and that Indo-European languages arrived in Europe with the spread of agriculture.’
      • ‘At this time also successive waves of peoples gradually filtered into the area who spoke an Indo-European language that later became the prototype of Greek.’

The Indo-European languages have a history of over 3,000 years. Their unattested, reconstructed ancestor, Proto-Indo-European, is believed to have been spoken well before 4000 BC in a region somewhere to the north or south of the Black Sea. The family comprises twelve branches: Indic (including Sanskrit and its descendants), Iranian, Anatolian (including Hittite and other extinct languages), Armenian, Hellenic (Greek), Albanian (or Illyrian), Italic (including Latin and the Romance languages), Celtic, Tocharian (an extinct group from central Asia), Germanic (including English, German, Dutch, and the Scandinavian languages), Baltic, and Slavic (including Russian, Polish, Czech, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Croatian)


  • 1mass noun The ancestral Proto-Indo-European language.

    ‘This would mean that ancestral Indo-European arose in 8100 B.B., plus or minus 1,900 years, considerably earlier than previous estimates of about 4000 B.C.’
    • ‘In English, the roots of many words can be found in Latin and Greek and in the language that most likely predated them, called Indo-European.’
    • ‘In 1786 he identified similarities or ‘affinities’ between Latin, Greek and Sanskrit, which eventually led to the parent language hypothesis of Indo-European.’
    • ‘Jones identified the connections between Sanskrit and Latin and Greek, and first proposed that they all derived from a single language, Indo-European.’
    • ‘The tree describes the passage from unity to diversity: one tree, with many branches: from Indo-European, to dozens of different languages.’
    1. 1.1The Indo-European family of languages.
      ‘English is shown within a partial family tree of Indo-European.’
      • ‘Pashtu belongs to the North-Eastern group of languages within the Iranian branch of Indo-European.’
      • ‘Alliterative meter also seems to predominate in the very earliest texts from the third western branch of Indo-European, Italic.’
      • ‘Minorities in China speak more than 80 languages from five language families: Sino-Tibetan, Altaic, Austro - Asiatic, Austronesian, and Indo-European.’
      • ‘Indo-Aryan, a branch of Indo-European, covers the northern half of the country, and the Dravidian family covers the southern third.’
  • 2A speaker of an Indo-European language, especially Proto-Indo-European.

    ‘Some of the women are ethnically Iranian, which means that they are Indo-Europeans, and speak Persian.’
    • ‘They are not Indo-Europeans and they most likely came from the Near East if not the Orient (this was the argument of Herodotus).’