- a mountainous region in Asia on the northern side of the Himalayas, since 1965 forming an autonomous region in the west of China; population 2,840,000 (est. 2007); official languages, Tibetan and Chinese; capital, Lhasa. Chinese name Xizang.
Most of Tibet forms a high plateau with an average elevation of over 12,500 feet (4,000 m). Ruled by Buddhist lamas since the 7th century, it was conquered by the Mongols in the 13th century and the Manchus in the 18th. China extended its authority over Tibet in 1951 but gained full control only after crushing a revolt in 1959, during which the country’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, escaped to India; he remains in exile and sporadic unrest has continued