1550s, in reference to a people of the northern Caucasus along the Black Sea, from Circassia, Latinized from Russian Cherkesŭ, which is of unknown origin. Their name for themselves is Adighe. Their language is non-Indo-European. The race was noted for the "fine physical formation of its members, especially its women" [Century Dictionary], who were much sought by neighboring nations as concubines, etc.
updated on May 23, 2022
Dictionary entries near Circassian