Aryan /ˈɛərjən/ is an English language loanword derived from the Sanskrit ārya ('Noble'). In present-day academia, the terms "Indo-Iranian" and "Indo-European" have, according to many, made most uses of the term 'Aryan' minimal, and 'Aryan' is now mostly limited to its appearance in the term "Indo-Aryan" for Indic languages and their speakers.
Western notions of an "Aryan race" rose to prominence in late-19th and early-20th century racialist thought, an idea most notably embraced by Nazi ideology (see master race). The Nazis believed that the "Nordic peoples" (who were also referred to as the "Germanic peoples") represent an ideal and "pure race" that was the purest representation of the original racial stock of those who were then called the Proto-Aryans. The Nazis declared that the Nordics were the true Aryans because they claimed that they were more "pure" (less racially mixed with non-native Indo-European peoples) than other people of what were then called the Aryan peoples (now generally called the Indo-European peoples).