n. pl. A·zer·is
1. A member of a traditionally Shiite Muslim people of Azerbaijan and adjacent areas of Armenia and northern Iran; an Azerbaijani.
2. The Azerbaijani language.
[Turkish azerî, from Persian āzarī, from āzarbaijān, northwest Iran, from Arabization of Persian āzarbāyigān, alteration of āzarbādgān, from Middle Iranian āturpātakān, ultimately after Aturpāt, Atropates, the satrap of Media who became an ally of Alexander the Great and founded a dynasty that ruled northwest Iran, from the Old Iranian name Atərəpāta-, literally "protected by fire" : *ātar-, fire; see āter in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + pāta-, protected (from pā-, to protect); see pā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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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.