• 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.
  • Of or related to Malaysia, its people and/or culture.
  • In, of or otherwise relating to the languages spoken by Malays.



Similar words


  • Recorded in English since 1598; from Malay Melayu, from Malayu, a kingdom on Sumatra's eastern coast (today's Jambi), mentioned by the Chinese Monk Yijing as 末羅瑜國 and during 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), 巫來由 (Wu-lai-yu) and 無來由 (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. Exonymous derivation from Malayalam മല ("mountain") has not been demonstrated.

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