| Definition -
The ancient and sacred language of India that is the oldest known member of the Indo-European family.
1. The extensive Hindu literature from the Vedas downward was composed in Sanskrit. Its grammar was fixed by Panini.
2. It is still a living language. For example, it is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand.
3. Since the late 19th century, Devanagari has been considered as the de facto writing system for Sanskrit.
Etymology - The name derives from the Sanskrit samskrtam, put together, well-formed, perfected (from sam, together + krta, to make, do, perform)
Oxford English Dictionary - Its first citation is from 1617:
"The Iesuites conceiue that these Bramenes are of the dispersion of the Israelites, and their bookes (called Samescretan) doe somewhat agree with the Scriptures."
(Purchas Pilgrimage v. xi. 636 )