Of or relating to Asia or its peoples, languages, or cultures.
1. A native or inhabitant of Asia.
2. A person of Asian ancestry.
Usage Note: Asia is the largest of the continents, with more than half the world's population. Though strictly speaking all of its inhabitants are Asians, in practice this term is applied almost exclusively to the peoples of East, Southeast, and South Asia as opposed to those of Southwest Asia—such as Arabs, Turks, Iranians, and Kurds—who are more usually designated Middle or Near Easterners. Indonesians and Filipinos are properly termed Asian, since their island groups are considered part of the Asian continent, but not the Melanesians, Micronesians, and Polynesians of the central and southern Pacific, who are now often referred to collectively as Pacific Islanders. See Usage Note at Oriental.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.