Definition of Karen in English:


Line breaks: Karen
Pronunciation: /kəˈrɛn

noun (plural same or Karens)

  • 1A member of an indigenous people of eastern Burma (Myanmar) and western Thailand.
    More example sentences
    • Nearly 100,000 members of ethnic minority groups in Myanmar, mostly Karens, have fled to Thailand to escape the fighting in their country.
    • Another important region for the Karens is the eastern border with Thailand.
    • The same would apply, for instance, to the Tamils of Sri Lanka, the Karens of Burma, the people of Aceh in Indonesia and the Muslims of the Southern Philippines.
  • 2 [mass noun] The language of the Karen, which probably belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family. Its highly distinct dialects have over 5 million speakers altogether.
    More example sentences
    • Other than Karen and Bai, Tibeto-Burman languages feature a Subject Object Verb order.
    • Karen is a language cluster spoken in lower Myanmar, and in areas bordering Thailand


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  • Relating to the Karen or their language.
    More example sentences
    • Most famously, the Htoo twins, pre-teen mystic leaders of a Karen group called God's Army, grabbed headlines in 2000 as the most unlikely of guerrilla generals.
    • The camp, accounting for 16 acres, is temporary shelter to 8,200 refugees who belong to a Karen minority who have been fighting with the Myanmar government for a homeland for decades.
    • And on Monday a group of 10 men belonging to God's Army, a Karen minority rebel group, broke into a hospital in the province.


from Arakanese (a language of Burma) karang.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody