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kur·gan (kr-gän, -găn)
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n.
1. A type of tumulus or barrow characteristic of a culture located on the steppes of southern Russia about 5000 BC and later spreading to the Danube, northern Europe, and northern Iran from around 3500 BC.
2. Kurgan
a. The culture that produced these tumuli or barrows.
b. A member of the people or peoples sharing this culture. The earliest Kurgans are considered by some to be speakers of Proto-Indo-European.

[Russian, from Old Russian kurganŭ, burial mound, fortress, of Turkic origin; compare Cuman (medieval Turkic language of Eastern Europe and Central Asia) kurgan, burial mound, and Chagatai and Kazakh qorğan, fortress, castle; akin to Old Turkic korgan, fortress : korı-, stem of korımak, to protect + -gan, noun suffix.]

Kur·gan adj.

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:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    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.

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