The atrocities committed in the name of this racial ideology have led academics to avoid the term "Aryan", which has been replaced, in most cases, by "Indo-Iranian".
The term now only appears in the context of the "Indo-Aryan languages".
is a term meaning "noble", which was used as a self-designation by Indo-Iranian people.
All this evidence shows that the name arya "Iranian" was a collective definition, denoting peoples (Geiger, pp. 31) who were aware of belonging to the one ethnic stock, speaking a common language, and having a religious tradition that centered on the cult of Ahura Mazdā.
The Bactrian language (a Middle Iranian language) inscription of Kanishka the Great, the founder of the Kushan Empire at Rabatak, which was discovered in 1993 in an unexcavated site in the Afghanistan province of Baghlan, clearly refers to this Eastern Iranian language as Arya.
In the post-Islamic era one can still see a clear usage of the term Aryan (Iran) in the work of the 10th-century historian Hamzah al-Isfahani.
The Gurjara-Pratihara rulers in the tenth century were titled "Maharajadhiraja of Āryāvarta".
Various Indian religions, chiefly Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, use the term ārya as an epithet of honour; a similar usage is found in the name of Arya Samaj.