1. A member of a West Germanic tribal group that inhabited northern Germany and invaded Britain in the fifth and sixth centuries AD with the Angles and Jutes.
2. A person of English or Lowland Scots birth or ancestry as distinguished from one of Irish, Welsh, or Highland Scots birth or ancestry.
3. A native or inhabitant of Saxony.
4. The West Germanic language of any of the ancient Saxon peoples.
5. The Germanic element of English as distinguished from the French and Latin elements.
[Middle English, from Late Latin Saxō, Saxon-, of Germanic origin; see sek- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 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.