Definition of Punan in English:



  • 1A member of any of various groups of Dayak peoples inhabiting parts of Borneo.

    • ‘In the city, the Punan benefit from all positive effects of development.’
    • ‘Originally, Orang Ulu was a name given to the Kayan and Kenyah tribes and smaller neighbouring tribes which include the Kajang, Kejaman, Punan, Ukit and Penan.’
    • ‘Sago starch harvested from palm trees is still the main source of carbohydrate for the Punan living in the remote forest village of Rian Tibu.’
  • 2mass noun Any of the related languages of the Punan, now with fewer than 4,000 speakers.

    • ‘While your average Southeast Asian expat would rarely speak more than 2 languages, Tivai is multilingual and speaks 8 (Punan, Kenyah, Kayan, Iban, Bazaar Malay, Bahasa Indonesia proper, a bit of Banjarese and Foochow Chinese).’


  • Relating to the Punan or their languages.

    • ‘Searcy is presenting a seminar on translation to Punan church leaders.’
    • ‘A team of experts has spent months comparing the lives of the Punan people, who still live as hunter-gatherers in the forest of Indonesian Borneo, with those of tribe members who have been lured away by civilisation.’


The name in Dayak.