Definition of Kayan in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkīən/

Entry from US English dictionary

noun (plural same or Kayans)

1A member of an indigenous people of Sarawak and Borneo.
Example sentences
  • In the village I saw the Kayans singing songs and playing musical instruments to get money from the tourists.
  • Everybody got drunk on tuak and had a great time, though the Kayans never caught any fish.
  • There is a disciplinary board with elder Kayans acting as advisers since they are well versed in customary law.
2The Indonesian language of the Kayan.
Example sentences
  • Kenyah and Kayan are closely related Austronesian languages.
  • Consider the following systems from two western Malayo-Polynesian languages spoken within a few hundred miles of each other: Kayan, spoken in central Borneo; and Kimaragang Dusun, spoken in northeastern Borneo.


Relating to the Kayan or their language.
Example sentences
  • As with early processes of conversion, the decision to cease making rice wine seems to have been taken on a community basis at some Kayan villages.
  • Nevertheless, the feeling that moral dangers attend the habit of smoking is real enough and the censure that accrues to the practice is a deterrent to most young Kayan women.
  • Patterns of consumption do vary, however, including between Kayan communities themselves.


The name in Kayan.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Kay·an

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