1Relating to India or its people, customs, or languages.
- ‘the company is said to enter the Indian market soon’
2Relating to or denoting indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South America, especially those of North America.
- ‘the map shows an Indian settlement southwest of Swan Lake’
1A native or inhabitant of India, or a person of Indian descent.
- ‘I hope this will inspire a new generation of Indians to enter the world of science’
2A member of any of the indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South America, especially those of North America.
- ‘before contact with the Europeans, about 60,000 Indians lived in the area’
Indian, meaning ‘native of America before the arrival of Europeans,’ is objected to by many who now favor Native American. However, there are others (including many members of these ethnic groups) who see nothing wrong with the long-established terms Indian and American Indian, although the preference where possible is to refer to specific peoples, as Apache, Delaware, and so on. The terms Amerind and Amerindian, once proposed as alternatives to Indian, are used in linguistics and anthropology, but have never gained widespread use. Newer alternatives, not yet widely established, include First Nation (especially in Canada) and the more generic aboriginal peoples. It should be noted that Indian is held by many not to include some indigenous groups of North America—for example, Aleuts and Inuits. A further consideration is that Indian also (and in many contexts, primarily) refers to inhabitants of India or their descendants, who may be referred to as ‘Asian Indians’ to prevent misunderstanding. See also American Indian