Parthian

[pahr-thee-uh n]
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noun

a native or inhabitant of Parthia.
an Iranian language of ancient and medieval Parthia.

adjective

of, relating to, or characteristic of Parthia, its inhabitants, or their language.

Origin of Parthian

First recorded in 1520–30; Parthi(a) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for parthians

Historical Examples of parthians


British Dictionary definitions for parthians

Parthian

adjective

of or relating to Parthia, a country in ancient Asia, or its inhabitants

noun

a native or inhabitant of Parthia
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 parthians

Parthian

n.

1520s, native or inhabitant of Parthia (ancient kingdom northeast of Persia in western Asia), from Old Persian Parthava- "Parthian," dialectal variant of the stem Parsa-, source of Persia.

As an adjective, 1580s. Phrase Parthian shot is in reference to their horsemen, who were expert at racing forward, turning, and shooting arrows backward at the moment of retreat. The exact phrase is attested by 1832; the image itself was in use long before (e.g. Parthian fight, 1630s).

Or, like the Parthian, I shall flying fight ["Cymbeline," Act I, Scene VII]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper