1. Of or relating to Russia or its people, language, or culture.
2. Of or relating to the former Soviet Union.
a. A native or inhabitant of Russia.
b. A person of Russian ancestry.
c. A native or inhabitant of the former Soviet Union.
2. The East Slavic language of the Russians, used as the official language of Russia and widely as a second language within the Commonwealth of Independent States.
[Medieval Latin Russiānus, from Old Russian Rusĭ, Vikings, Rus, from Old Norse *rōdhs(menn) or rōdhs(karlar), seafarers, from rōdhr, rowing; see erə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.