Definition of Hurrian in English:



  • 1A member of an ancient people, originally from Armenia, who settled in Syria and northern Mesopotamia during the 3rd–2nd millennia BC and were later absorbed by the Hittites and Assyrians.

    • ‘In the second half of the 8th century, Tiglath-Pileser III pushed his frontiers south to the Persian Gulf and north into the heart of Anatolia, defeating the Hurrians and the Hittites.’
    • ‘He wrote of the relation of the Kurdish peoples, or some of them, to the ancient Hurrians.’
    • ‘In fact, Siirt is a city of great antiquity, home to many different civilisations, beginning with the Hurrians, who were succeeded in turn by the Medes, Persians, Parthians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and finally the Ottomans.’
    • ‘The Hurrians (mentioned in the Bible as the Horites) had a sky god Anu (perhaps the same as the Sumerian An) who was castrated and overthrown by his son, Kumarbi.’
  • 2mass noun The language of the Hurrians, written in cuneiform and of unknown affinity.

    • ‘We know that the Middle East of 5000 years ago was using a variety of unrelated languages, Hurrian, Egyptian, Sumerian, Elamite, Hittite, and Akkadian, where for the last 1000 years there has been nothing but Arabic and Persian.’
    • ‘This system developed over the succeeding centuries to form Akkadian, Eblaite, Elamite, Hititte, Hurrian, and Old Persian.’
    • ‘The cosmopolitan nature of the city is evident from the presence of documents written in Ugaritic, Akkadian, Hittite, Egyptian, Hurrian, and even Cypro-Minoan.’


  • Relating to the Hurrians or their language.

    • ‘The charioteers, who bore the Hurrian title mariyannu, were an élite group given special privileges.’
    • ‘Some of the pottery is estimated to be approximately 5,000 years old, and it has been linked to the Nuzi people of the Hurrian civilization.’
    • ‘To a visitor from a non-Islamic planet earth, the Hurrian political system would appear to be an exotic blend of Stalin and a militant Sweden.’
    • ‘Wouldn't it shock people to find that out that Jewish beginnings were not necessarily Semitic, but Hurrian?’