The term "Persianate" is a neologism credited to Marshall Hodgson. In his 1974 book, The Venture of Islam: The expansion of Islam in the Middle Periods, he defined it thus: "The rise of Persian had more than purely literary consequences: it served to carry a new overall cultural orientation within Islamdom.... Most of the more local languages of high culture that later emerged among Muslims... depended upon Persian wholly or in part for their prime literary inspiration. We may call all these cultural traditions, carried in Persian or reflecting Persian inspiration, 'Persianate' by extension.": 293–94
The term designates ethnic Persians but also societies that may not have been ethnically Persian but whose linguistic, material or artistic cultural activities were influenced by or based on Persianate culture. Examples of pre-19th-century Persianate societies were the Seljuq, Timurid, Mughal, and Ottoman dynasties.