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From Scythia +‎ -an.


  • IPA(key): /ˈsɪði.ən/, /ˈsɪθi.ən/


Scythian (plural Scythians)

  1. An inhabitant of Scythia, an ill-defined region centered in southern Russia.
    • 1685, John Norris, (translator), The Institution and Life of Cyrus the Great [Cyropaedia] by Xenophon Book I
      How far he surpassed them all may be felt if we remember that no Scythian, although the Scythians are reckoned by their myriads, has ever succeeded in dominating a foreign nation []


Derived terms[edit]



Scythian (comparative more Scythian, superlative most Scythian)

  1. Relating to Scythia or Scythians.


Proper noun[edit]


  1. The Eastern Iranian language of Scythians.
  2. (Indo-European studies, in the works of Markus van Boxhorn) The Proto-Indo-European language.
    • 1999, Cornelis Dekker, The Origins of Old Germanic Studies in the Low Countries, BRILL, page 210:
      Scythian was therefore not the same as modern Dutch, but the ancestral language of the Dutch as well as other neighbouring languages.
    • 2010, William Poole, The World Makers: Scientists of the Restoration and the Search for the Origins of the Earth, Peter Lang, page 81:
      Though Boxhorn was working over a century before Sir William Jones, his ‘Scythian’ is not conceptually far off the later notion of Indo-European, and his choice of term ‘Scythian’ shows that Boxhorn was envisaging a cultural connection between the (northern) languages of the Near East and their Western European brethren, a perspicacious hypothesis that assumend some kind of ethnic drift between the two continents.
    • 2011, Gerda Haßler, Gesina Volkmann, History of Linguistics 2008: Selected Papers from the Eleventh International Conference on the History of the Language Sciences (ICHoLS XI), 28 August -2 September 2008, Potsdam, John Benjamins Publishing Company, page 159:
      From 1647 onwards, in several of his writings, Boxhorn elaborated the idea that Scythian was the original mother language of Persian, Greek, Latin, the Germanic languages, Turkish, Welsh, Lithuanian, Russian and Latvian (cf. Boxhorn 1647).