[pur-zhuh n, -shuh n]


of or relating to ancient and recent Persia (now Iran), its people, or their language.


a member of the native peoples of Iran, descended in part from the ancient Iranians.
a citizen of ancient Persia.
an Iranian language, the principal language of Iran and western Afghanistan, in its historical and modern forms.Compare Old Persian, Pahlavi, Farsi.
Architecture. a figure of a man used as a column.
Persians. Persian blinds.

Origin of Persian

1325–75; Persi(a) + -an; replacing Middle English Persien < Middle French; replacing Old English Persisc (see -ish1)
Related formspre-Per·sian, adjective, nounpseu·do-Per·sian, adjective, nountrans-Per·sian, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for persian

Contemporary Examples of persian

Historical Examples of persian

  • The venerable Persian gazed at her for an instant, and then clasped her to his bosom.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • "Thank you, no," returned the Persian, with a faint smile of his own.

    A Night Out

    Edward Peple

  • His program was as simple as the curriculum of a Persian youth.

  • Clearly his fears had been realised, and he had had an attack of the Persian ague.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Next to him comes a light slate or blue Persian, with yellow eyes.

    Concerning Cats

    Helen M. Winslow

British Dictionary definitions for persian



of or relating to ancient Persia or modern Iran, their inhabitants, or their languages


a native, citizen, or inhabitant of modern Iran; an Iranian
a member of an Indo-European people of West Iranian speech who established a great empire in SW Asia in the 6th century bc
the language of Iran or Persia in any of its ancient or modern forms, belonging to the West Iranian branch of the Indo-European familySee also Avestan, Old Persian, Pahlavi 2, Farsi
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 persian


c.1400, percynne (adj.), Old English Perse (n.), both from Latin *Persianus (the adjective via Old French persien), from Persia "Persia" (see Persia). First record of Persian cat is from 1785.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper