Meaning of Proto-Indo-European in English:


Pronunciation /ˌprəʊtəʊˌɪndəʊˌjɔːrəˈpiːən/


mass noun
  • The unrecorded language from which all Indo-European languages are thought to derive.

    ‘The standard estimate for the time depth of the Indo-European parent language, Proto-Indo-European, is perhaps 6,000 years BP.’
    • ‘This was the basis of the reconstruction of the ancient and hypothetical language, Proto-Indo-European, from which we believe are derived most European tongues, and many spoken in Western and Central Asia.’
    • ‘All are presumed to have descended from a single common ancestor language known as Proto-Indo-European.’
    • ‘The first language and its evolution to an ancient language called Proto-Indo-European (Proto-IE) are lost.’
    • ‘When Proto-Indo-European was spoken, the sea level was still recovering from the low point it had reached during the Ice Age, about 100 metres lower than the present level.’


  • Relating to Proto-Indo-European.

    ‘A significant number of animals were probably brought, first by the Proto-Indo-European peoples, into northern Iberia during the fifth millennium B.P., and second by the Roman invasions ca. 2300 B.P.’
    • ‘‘Sagacity’ in English print in 1548 was originally the ability to track or hunt, in Proto-Indo-European cultures.’
    • ‘Whatever the truth, the mystery and magic of our Proto-Indo-European heritage has continued to fascinate me and many scholars in the field.’
    • ‘We lose the thread at the Proto-Indo-European tongue spoken beginning in 4,000 b.c. and since vanished.’