[druh-vid-ee-uh n]
  1. a family of languages, wholly distinct from Indo-European, spoken mostly in southern India and Sri Lanka and including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, and, in Pakistan, Brahui.
  2. a member of the aboriginal population occupying much of southern India and parts of Sri Lanka.
  1. Also Dra·vid·ic. of or relating to this people or their language.

Origin of Dravidian

1855–60; < Sanskrit Draviḍ(a) ethnonym + -ian
Related formspre-Dra·vid·i·an, adjectivepre-Dra·vid·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of dravidian

British Dictionary definitions for dravidian


  1. a family of languages spoken in S and central India and Sri Lanka, including Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, and Gondi
  2. a member of one of the aboriginal races of India, pushed south by the Indo-Europeans and now mixed with them
  1. denoting, belonging to, or relating to this family of languages or these peoples
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for dravidian



1856, "pertaining to the race in southern India or the languages spoken by them," from Sanskrit Dravidah, name of a region in southern India, + -ian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper