Vais·ya (vīshə, vīshyə)
A member of the second-lowest of the four major castes of traditional Indian society, comprising farmers, herders, merchants, and businessmen.
Of or relating to the class of Vaisyas.
[Sanskrit vaiśyaḥ, settler, homesteader, from viśaḥ, house; see weik-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 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.