A person of American and Asian ancestry, especially one whose mother is Asian and whose father is American.
Usage Note: Amerasian is not a synonym for either Asian American or Eurasian. The word dates to the early 1950s and has been used primarily with reference to children fathered in Asia by American servicemen. Since American servicemen are of varying backgrounds, there is no particular racial or ethnic connotation to Amerasian apart from the fact that one parent, generally the mother, is an ethnic Asian. In contrast, Asian American is typically used of a person whose parents are both ethnic Asians but who by birth or naturalization is an American citizen, while Eurasian designates a person of mixed Asian and European, or white, parentage. Though many Amerasians are, ethnically speaking, also Eurasians, in practice the two terms do not overlap very much, with Amerasian continuing to be restricted in usage to the historical context of the American military presence in East and Southeast Asia.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.