Cush + -ite, coined in the 1820s. In the early 19th century, the term referred to dark-skinned east Africans (synonymous with Herodotus' Ethiopians) in general. The technical linguistic sense is due to Friedrich Müller (1876).
Alternative forms 
Cushite (not comparable)
- pertaining to the ancient people of eastern Africa, considered the descendants of biblical Cush
Proper noun 
- a member of one of the peoples of eastern Africa, or any black African
- "A Cushite was the same as ‘a man of colour’." (N. Morren (trans.), E. F. C. Rosenmüller, Biblical Geography of Central Asia, 1836)
- a sub-family of the Afro-Asiatic languages, Cushitic