from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A member of a people inhabiting Malaysia, the northern Malay Peninsula, and parts of the western Malay Archipelago.
  • n. The Austronesian language of the Malays. Also called Bahasa Malay.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of the Malays or their language.
  • adj. Of or relating to Malaysia, the Malay Peninsula, or the Malay Archipelago.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. of or relating to the Malays, a people living in Brunei, on the eastern coast of Sumatra, the islands of Bangka and Belitung, the Riau archipelago and the coastal areas of Kalimantan in Indonesia, in most of Malaysia (states where they are politically dominant), in Singapore and in the southernmost provinces of Thailand.
  • adj. of or related to Malaysia, its people and/or culture.
  • adj. in, of or otherwise relating to Malay, a generic name for the languages spoken by Malays.
  • n. A person of Malay ancestry, referring to a diverse group of Austronesian peoples inhabiting the Malay archipelago and Malay peninsula in Southeast Asia.
  • n. Type of mild curry made with yoghurt and fruit, usually pineapple or lychee.
  • proper n. The Malay language, an Austronesian language spoken by most Malay people and in states they dominate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the Malays or their country.
  • proper n. One of a race of a brown or copper complexion in the Malay Peninsula and the western islands of the Indian Archipelago.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A native of Malacca or of the Malay peninsula, or of the adjacent islands.
  • n. The language of the Malays. It is a dialect belonging to the Malayan branch of the Malay-Polynesian family.
  • n. A variety of the domestic hen, having a tall and slender shape like that of the exhibition game, but larger, and long legs and neck and a close, low tail.
  • Of or pertaining to the Malays or to their country. Also Malaic.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a member of a people inhabiting the northern Malay Peninsula and Malaysia and parts of the western Malay Archipelago
  • adj. of or relating to or characteristic of the people or language of Malaysia and the northern Malay Peninsula and parts of the western Malay Archipelago
  • n. a western subfamily of Western Malayo-Polynesian languages


Obsolete Dutch Malayo, from Malay Melayu.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Recorded in English since 1598; from Malay Melayu, from Malayu, a kingdom on Sumatra's eastern coast (today's Jambi), mentioned by chinese Monk Yijing as 末羅瑜國 and under the Yuan (1271-1368) and Ming (1368-1644) dynasties as 木剌由 (Bok-la-yu or Mok-la-yu), 麻里予兒 (Ma-li-yu-er), 巫来由 (Wu-lai-yu) and 無来由 (Wu-lai-yu). The oldest known inscriptions in the Malay language were found at Kedukan Bukit and Talang Tuo, both in the vicinity of Palembang in southern Sumatra, and at Kota Kapur on Bangka island west of Sumatra. They are respectively dated 673, 684 and 686 A. D. Exonymous explanation from Malayalam മല (Mala or Malai, "mountain") not demonstrated. (Wiktionary)



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