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

  • noun a major mountain range of central Asia; extends 1,500 miles


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word Tien Shan.


  • Between them the mountains of the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, Karakorams, Pamirs and Tien Shan store more ice than anywhere outside the north and south poles.

    Everest's ice is retreating as climate change grips the Himalayas 2011

  • In the foothills and valleys of the Tien Shan range, the new apple found itself in a genuine paradise.

    Wildwood Roger Deakin 2009

  • The bears, living in the abundant caves of the Tien Shan, were avid fruit-eaters, and pips could pass through their guts unharmed to germinate in the dung.

    Wildwood Roger Deakin 2009

  • And so on, down thousands of years, so every single kind of eating apple in the world is a direct descendant of the apples that evolved in the forests of the Tien Shan.

    Wildwood Roger Deakin 2009

  • Vavilov felt sure the domestic apple was descended exclusively from Malus sieversus, the wild apple of the Tien Shan, but without the modern genetic techniques of DNA profiling he was unable to prove his hypothesis, as Barrie Juniper did some sixty years later.

    Wildwood Roger Deakin 2009

  • In the course of that journey, Juniper has discovered, the wild apple of the Tien Shan, Malus sieversus, evolved into the domestic apple, Malus domesticus, and eventually found its way to Britain with the Romans.

    Wildwood Roger Deakin 2009

  • But how could all the thousands of varieties of the domestic apple have descended from the wild fruit forests of the Tien Shan?

    Wildwood Roger Deakin 2009

  • But when the snows melted in July, the caravans turned north and until the first snows in November travelled through the Ili Valley and the Tien Shan range via Almaty, passing through fruit forests on the way.

    Wildwood Roger Deakin 2009

  • Fording the Shaydansay River again, we bumped, swayed and teetered our way higher up the valley to over 6,000 feet, then walked along the river to a grove of ancient Tien Shan birch and Turkestan maple trees that formed a gateway to an alpine meadow with a sacred spring at its centre.

    Wildwood Roger Deakin 2009

  • He and his Oxford colleagues had written over 200 emails and letters in their original quest to reach the Tien Shan fruit forests.

    Wildwood Roger Deakin 2009


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.