a. A member of one of the non-Greek peoples in the ancient world, regarded by the ancient Greeks as culturally inferior.
b. A member of any of various peoples living outside the Roman Empire or not fully integrated into Greco-Roman civilization.
2. A member of a people considered uncivilized or culturally inferior by members of another people.
3. A crude, uncivilized, or brutal person.
[French barbarien, from barbare, barbarous, from Latin barbarus; see BARBAROUS.]
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.