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[mey-ley, muh-ley] /ˈmeɪ leɪ, məˈleɪ/

of, relating to, or characteristic of a racially intermixed people who are the dominant population of the and adjacent islands.
of or relating to the language or culture of these people.
a member of the Malay people.
an Austronesian language of Malaysia and Singapore, differing from Indonesian only in orthography.
a member of a people living chiefly in Malaysia and Indonesia who are descendants of Mongoloid immigrants
the language of this people, belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian family
of or relating to the Malays or their language

1590s, from native name Malayu. As an adjective from 1779; earlier adjective form was Malayan (1660s).


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  • Malaya

    [muh-ley-uh] /məˈleɪ ə/ noun 1. . 2. Federation of. Formerly Malay States, Malayan Union. a former federation of 11 states in the S : a British protectorate 1948–57; now forms part of Malaysia. 50,690 sq. mi. (131,287 sq. km). Capital: Kuala Lumpur. Compare (def 1). /məˈleɪə/ noun 1. States of the Federation of Malaya, part […]

  • Malayalam

    [mal-uh-yah-luh m] /ˌmæl əˈyɑ ləm/ noun 1. a Dravidian language spoken in extreme southwestern India. /ˌmælɪˈɑːləm/ noun 1. a language of SW India, belonging to the Dravidian family and closely related to Tamil: the state language of Kerala 1837, Dravidian language of Malabar, from Dravidian Malayali, from mala “mountain” + al “possess.”

  • Malayali

    /ˌmælɪˈɑːlɪ/ noun 1. a speaker of the Malayalam language

  • Malayan

    [muh-ley-uh n] /məˈleɪ ən/ adjective, noun 1. . /məˈleɪən/ adjective 1. of or relating to Malaya or its inhabitants noun 2. a native or inhabitant of Malaya

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