1. A peninsula and subcontinent of southern Asia south of the Himalaya Mountains, occupied by India, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
2. A country of southern Asia covering most of the Indian subcontinent. Aryans from the northwest invaded c. 1500 BC, pushing Dravidian and other peoples to the south. Most of India was unified by the emperor Asoka in the 3rd century BC. It experienced a golden age in the 4th and 5th centuries AD before being invaded c. 1000 by Muslims and later by the Mongol conqueror Baber, who established the Mughal empire (1526-1857). Various European powers established trading posts in the 16th and 17th centuries, with the British East India Company assuming authority over most of the country by the early 19th century. A widespread rebellion sparked by the mutiny of native troops in 1857 led to the establishment of direct rule by the British crown in 1858. In the 20th century, India gained its independence from Great Britain (1947) following a campaign of civil disobedience led by the pacifist Mohandas Gandhi. Its concomitant partition into the separate countries of India and Pakistan resulted in a tumultuous migration of Muslims to Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs to India in which approximately one million people died. New Delhi is the capital, and Mumbai is the largest city.
(click for a larger image)India
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. 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.