Definition of Malagasy in English:


Line breaks: Mala|gasy
Pronunciation: /ˌmaləˈgasi

noun (plural same or Malagasies)

  • 1A native or inhabitant of Madagascar.
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    • The rebels themselves were responsible for the deaths of 550 Europeans and of approximately 1,900 Malagasies.
    • Between them, they provided the Malagasy with the Bible in their own language.
    • The Malagasy, as the inhabitants of the island are known, are mainly descended from the Malay / Indonesian and Polynesian seafarers who were the first arrivals somewhere around 500 ad.
  • 2 [mass noun] The Austronesian language of Madagascar, a group of dialects spoken by some 10 million people.
    More example sentences
    • In the classroom, Malagasy replaced French as the language of instruction and lessons focused on Malagasy, rather than French, culture and history.
    • Other languages of this type may include Albanian, Malagasy, and Toba Batak.
    • Campbell is not only fluent in Malagasy, but also in the less familiar European languages (Welsh, Norwegian) in which some of these records are written.


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  • Relating to Madagascar or its people or language.
    More example sentences
    • The flowers are usually identified as poinsettia, which in the Malagasy language is Madagasikara, the local name for Madagascar.
    • The effect is that of a sophisticated and exotic storytelling folk music sung in the Malagasy language.
    • The lamba hearty, then, continues to be a means of signaling a distinct Malagasy identity, within Madagascar and abroad.


variant of Madagascar; earlier forms included Malegass, Madegass, because of dialect division between the sounds -l- and -d-.

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