Definition of Burmese in English:

Burmese

noun

  • 1A member of the largest ethnic group of Burma (Myanmar) in SE Asia.

    • ‘The Burmese were so strongly entrenched in traditional Buddhism that Judson once said, ‘It is easier to take out the tooth of a living lion than convert a Burmese!’’
    • ‘The Burmese sacked the city, deposed King Mahinthrathirat and installed the former governor of Phitsanulok, Maha Thammaracha as their puppet.’
    • ‘The Burmese tightened their grip by shooting anyone who attempted to bring food and other supplies into Bang Rajan and increased their shelling of the encampment.’
    • ‘Bangkok was established as the royal capital of Thailand in 1782, 15 years after the Burmese had razed the former capital Ayutthaya, and at the same time as the beginning of the present royal dynasty.’
    • ‘The Thais managed to take the city and force the Burmese to retreat, but an incursion across the border into Burma itself was turned back in 1775.’
    • ‘The Pangals now living in Myanmar are the descendants of those taken by the Burmese (captives with many Meiteis).’
    • ‘The history of the Lanna region includes the Burmese domination and the subsequent defeat of the Burmese in 1774, at a time when the southern King of Thailand also had his hands full with the neighbour, Burma.’
    • ‘King Taksin the Great saved the country from the hands of the Burmese during the siege of Ayutthaya in the Buddhist Year 2310.’
    • ‘Bang, who had been in Ayutthaya since 1723, became VOC director in 1748 and was killed by the Burmese in 1760, leaving behind a Thai wife, five children and four slaves.’
    • ‘The Karen long ago despaired of any justice from the Burmese, and declared themselves autonomous.’
    • ‘Although there are French and Portuguese writings still extant, there is a paucity of Siamese documentation, principally as a result of the sacking of Ayutthaya by the Burmese in 1767.’
    • ‘The Burmese finally destroyed Ayuthia in 1767.’
    • ‘The name of the country of Burma (or Myanmar, as it is now officially known) is associated with the dominant ethnic group, the Burmese.’
    • ‘Ethnic Burmese form the majority at 67.4%, and the remainder includes the Shans, Rakhines, Mons, Chins, Kachins and the Kayahs.’
    • ‘While there are traditional elites within most of the ethnic groups and new elites in some groups whose wealth comes from smuggling, the national elite is overwhelmingly Burmese.’
    • ‘All we Thais can do is talk about the evil of the Burmese 200 years ago when they sacked Ayuthaya.’
    • ‘Later, you pass a statue of the twin patriotic, mannish-looking Siamese lasses who helped fight off the invading Burmese, then there are cashew factories and robber plantations.’
    • ‘The alliance failed to keep out the neighbouring Burmese, who ruled the area from the mid-16th century until the middle of the 18th.’
    • ‘Taksin's force took the ruined city after most of the defenders, Thai troops pressed into the service of the Burmese, defected.’
    • ‘Of course it was the Burmese, not the Khmer, who successfully laid siege to and then sacked Ayutthaya in 1767.’
    • ‘They established kingdoms and expanded their territory, often in conflict with other ethnic groups such as the Burmese (Burman).’
  • 2A native or inhabitant of Burma.

    • ‘This Burmese gets his supplies from a member of the Karen hill tribes.’
    • ‘There are more than 125 separate ethnic groups represented by the Burmese.’
    • ‘Young Burmese are now thronging the campuses, chattering, flirting, riding their bicycles, taking photographs - and, yes, even studying.’
    • ‘Orwell had been inoculated against views of this latter sort by his time in Burma, where he had heard, ad nauseam, servants of the British empire make such claims about the Burmese.’
    • ‘The ASEAN countries have invested in tourism, hotels, etc., but the Burmese have implemented policies that have aborted the process of development.’
    • ‘The bridge is a part of the Thai-Burma railway, built by Allied PoWs and well as unwilling local Thais, Malays and Burmese, under the instructions of their Japanese masters.’
    • ‘The Glass Palace - a great novel of Burma through three generations - unforgettably describes the exact consequences for Burmese and Indians of colonial rule.’
    • ‘At the same time they were being shelled by Thai troops, operating in tandem with the Burmese.’
    • ‘The Burmese apparently knew the secret of seasoning the wood in perfumed oils for several months as a result of which it could withstand the ravages of time, the elements and pests.’
    • ‘Police arrested 24 Cambodians and Burmese, twenty males and four females.’
    • ‘The Burmese have now received $20,000 in back pay and compensation…’
    • ‘The Burmese resemble other Asians in being enthusiastic snackers, with ample provision of snack stalls.’
    • ‘The Burmese, however, are grouped with the Thai prisoners, and given the tough treatment.’
    • ‘During the Second World War Japan had control of both Thailand and Burma, and used Allied PoWs, as well as unwilling local Thais, Malays and Burmese, to construct a railway from Bangkok to Rangoon.’
    • ‘I tried to tell her that she upheld the only force, apart from fear and greed, strong enough to bind the diverse Burmese into one nation.’
    • ‘The public rebuke came as a shock to the Burmese, more so when Malaysia's Prime Minister Doctor Mahathir followed up with a public threat that Rangoon could eventually be expelled if it didn't move on political reform.’
    • ‘This song, on the beauty of Nature is 50 years old and according to Joe, a Burmese who is now an Indian citizen, generations have hummed the song.’
    • ‘It should induce China to warn the Burmese of their predicament.’
    • ‘One wonders if the Burmese still dress that way.’
    • ‘The bodies of many of the deceased Burmese were left unclaimed in Yanyao temple in Phangnga, where unidentified bodies are being kept, as relatives fear being deported.’
  • 3[mass noun] The official language of Burma, which is the first language of about 22 million people (75 per cent of the population). It is a tonal Sino-Tibetan language written in an alphabet derived from that of ancient Pali.

    • ‘The Pali alphabet used for written Burmese is made up of eight vowels, three diphthongs, 32 consonants, and several tones.’
    • ‘True, much of the dialogue in there was Burmese.’
    • ‘But I went to schools where it was taught as a second language; everything else was taught in Burmese.’
    • ‘Even a children's cartoon, published in both English and Burmese, featuring messages of the wonders of personal hygiene and staying off drugs and sponsored by Unicef, features these same slogans.’
    • ‘Many Shans speak some of the Yunnanese dialect of Chinese and some Burmese, as well as Shan.’
    • ‘If anyone can translate something from English into Burmese for me, I would be eternally grateful.’
    • ‘Rung would substitute a neighboring country's language such as Chinese or Burmese.’
    • ‘Significant tonality is another feature of Burmese common to Asian languages of this group, of which Mandarin Chinese is a part.’
    • ‘Local translations have been made into Burmese, and in Madagascar and in a former Russian Republic.’
    • ‘Tibetan is most closely related to Burmese and to other spoken dialects of Himalayan peoples, but the written script was adapted from Indian writing.’
    • ‘By the time of his death, he had translated the entire Bible into Burmese, and on the one-hundredth anniversary of his death it was estimated there were two hundred thousand Christians in Burma.’
    • ‘The curriculum is scrutinized by the military regime, and it often is forbidden to teach in languages other than Burmese.’
    • ‘In Singapore, a police spokesman said Thursday the letter, which was written in Burmese, contained a low-grade bomb detonator.’
    • ‘By 1816, Judson was translating the Bible into Burmese - his version is still in use.’
    • ‘He raises his small black eyes, stares at me, and says something in Burmese.’
    • ‘They constitute three linguistic families, Tibeto-Burman, Mon-Khmer, and Tai, although today Burmese is written and spoken by most.’
    • ‘He enjoyed learning the job, trying to speak Burmese, hunting, swimming and tennis at the club, to which, of course, no coloured person was admitted except as a servant.’
    • ‘Western backing tracks are nicked wholesale, with Sai Sai rapping in Burmese over Mary J Blige's ‘Family Aff air’.’
    • ‘Baptist missionaries developed scripts based on Burmese for Pwo Karen (with twenty-five letters) and for other Karen languages.’
  • 4A cat of a short-coated breed originating in Asia.

    • ‘Indeed, there's something of a demand for Tonkinese among people who had the old style Siamese or Burmese for a long time and now can't find them anymore.’
    • ‘Most associations, with the exception of The International Cat Association, will not permit breeders to show sable - colored Bombays as Burmese.’
    • ‘On a scale on one to ten, if all the Siamese characteristics were a one and all the Burmese characteristics were a ten, the ideal Burmese would be a perfect five.’
    • ‘From what I've read, both male and female Burmese of the traditional type (round faced) are very affectionate, talkative and cuddly cats.’
    • ‘Well, my theory that Burmese cats are dense has finally been proved.’
    • ‘She settled on Burmese and Abyssinians but has bred everything from Somalis to Tonkanese.’
    • ‘The Korat's universal acceptance was preceded by much discussion about whether the Korat might actually be a blue Burmese.’
    • ‘She entered a picture of her former pet Burmese into the Most Beautiful Pet competition run by Sainsbury's, at Clapham Road.’
    • ‘Wool sucking, in particular, is prevalent in the oriental breeds, such as the Siamese, Burmese, and Himalayan.’
    • ‘My first flat was a household that varied between four and five people; trying to keep our waste down to one bag a week was a challenge, despite the compost heap we built and two Burmese cats who would eat pretty much everything we offered.’
    • ‘But the one issue with the British Burmese line is that they tend to produce a few males who are more aggressive than your traditional round-faced Burmese.’
    • ‘There's been an overnight arrival: five Burmese kittens born in the early hours of this morning.’
    • ‘Thus, Exotic shorthairs, a Burmese or two, and even the occasional Persians can be found among the topmost branches in the family trees of many Scottish folds.’
    • ‘Like the Siamese, the Burmese are said to have been temple cats for whom student monks served as valets.’
    • ‘Aggie, a chocolate coloured Burmese, who lives with her owner, the novelist Judy Astley on the Embankment, went missing on Saturday April 12 th.’
    • ‘Thus, the fact that Burmese outperformed the market by 7 percent may or may not be significant.’
    • ‘Lease out your koi pond or take bids on Chairman Meow, your 20-year-old Burmese with chronic indigestion.’
    • ‘The Singapura combines, as one suspects that it would, the sweetness of the Burmese with the playful and inquisitive nature of the Abyssinian.’
    • ‘For some strange reason, he reminded me of a Burmese cat.’
    • ‘In New York and London, this was the era of the Ladies Who Lunch (mark one), a scary brigade who wore Chanel and were as thin as Burmese cats.’

adjective

  • Relating to Burma, its people, or their language.

    • ‘A delegation from the Burmese pro-democracy movement met with Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff last week, but failed to change New Zealand's policy on the military regime in Burma.’
    • ‘A senior delegation from Burmese pro-democracy organisations will be visiting New Zealand this week to ask for the New Zealand Government's help in restoring democracy to Burma.’
    • ‘Patton has also been studying the Burmese language with a community of monks around Harvard and is a member of the Buddhist Community there.’
    • ‘The illegal laborers were identified as Lao, Cambodian and Burmese.’
    • ‘After a lovely dinner last week with my parents at a great little Burmese restaurant.’
    • ‘The closure revealed an extensive network of subcontracting, including orders given to workshops on the Burmese border, where four out of five workers were Burmese migrants.’
    • ‘Irish supporters of the Burmese pro-democracy movement said they found out as they monitored the website last Thursday.’
    • ‘In the meantime, tsunami relief funds have been withheld from Burma, with efforts concentrated on Burmese refugee camps in Thailand instead.’
    • ‘The event must've drawn quite a crowd, as police were able to round up and arrest 82 illegal Cambodian, Burmese, and Laotian fishermen near the pier in the Samae Sarn area, Sattahip.’
    • ‘Members of Burmese pro-democracy groups, human rights organisations and labour unions demonstrated at a meeting of shareholders of Ivanhoe Mines in Vancouver.’
    • ‘Nearly 90 percent of the Thai people are Mongoloid, with lighter complexions than their Burmese, Kampuchean, and Malay neighbors.’
    • ‘Concert goers from the local Burmese community reciprocated after the Koreans sang with a number of traditional Burmese fighting songs which had everyone on their feet.’
    • ‘The letters have a circular shape, like those of the Burmese language.’
    • ‘They sometimes came into conflict with the Burmese dynastic rulers, or with other ethnic groups inclined to wage war.’
    • ‘Incidentally, the Buddha images were in the Burmese rather than the Siamese style, as is normal in the ‘antique’ shops of Bangkok.’
    • ‘They also provided capital to Chinese, Burmese, Pathan and Sinhalese moneylenders, but at the same time were connected with European banking institutions.’
    • ‘The UN agency responsible for labour standards, the ILO, proved it had teeth when luxury lingerie manufacturer, Triumph, pulled the pin on its Burmese manufacturing operation.’
    • ‘The plaintiffs in the Unocal case are Burmese villagers who claim that they were subjected to forced labor, murder, rape, and torture during the construction of a gas pipeline through their country.’
    • ‘She marries for political unity instead of love, she monitors the corruption of a rival dynasty and ultimately directs their overthrow and she risks her life to protect her husband in a dangerous battle with the invading Burmese army.’
    • ‘The logbook also contains a detailed account of an 1853 encounter in the Irrawaady River area of Burma with Burmese insurgents fighting British power.’

Pronunciation:

Burmese

/bəːˈmiːz/