Etymology
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Asian (n.)

late 14c., "inhabitant of Asia (Minor)," from Latin Asianus (adjective and noun, "belonging to the province of Asia;" "an inhabitant of Asia"), from Greek Asianos "Asiatic," from Asia (see Asia). It ousted Asiatic as the preferred term mid-20c.

The term "Asiatic" has come to be regarded with disfavour by those to whom it is applied, and they feel entitled to be brought into line with usage in regard to Europeans, Americans and Australians. [Times Literary Supplement, Feb. 6, 1953]

As an adjective in English, "of or pertaining to Asia," from 1560s; common from c. 1930. Related: Asianic (1879).

updated on September 26, 2022

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Definitions of Asian from WordNet
1
Asian (n.)
a native or inhabitant of Asia;
Synonyms: Asiatic
2
Asian (adj.)
of or relating to or characteristic of Asia or the peoples of Asia or their languages or culture;
Synonyms: Asiatic
Etymologies are not definitions. From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.