Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One of an Indo-European people originally of central Europe and spreading to western Europe, the British Isles, and southeast to Galatia during pre-Roman times, especially a Briton or Gaul.
  • n. A native speaker of a modern Celtic language or a descendant of such a speaker, especially a modern Gael, Welsh person, Cornish person, or Breton.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. the ancient peoples of Western Europe, called by the Romans Celtæ
  • proper n. the modern speakers of Celtic languages

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French Celte, sing. of Celtes, Celts, from Latin Celtae, from Greek Keltoi.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek Kελτοί (Keltoi), via Latin Celtæ (singular Celta) and French Celtes. English Celts from the 17th century. Until the mid 19th century, IPA: /sɛlt/ is the only recorded pronunciation. A consciously archaizing pronunciation IPA: /kɛlt/ is advocated in Irish and Welsh nationalism beginning in the 1850s.

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