Definition of Cham in US English:



  • 1A member of an indigenous people of Vietnam and Cambodia, who formed an independent kingdom from the 2nd to 17th centuries AD, and whose culture is strongly influenced by that of India.

    • ‘‘Lord, we come into your presence and we ask that you would give us a fresh sense of your burden and your love for Muslim people, especially the Cham,’ says Love.’
    • ‘In 1471 Champa was conquered by the Vietnamese, and many Cham fled to Cambodia.’
    • ‘A large community of ethnic Cham, converts to Islam, live in close proximity to Hoa Hao village.’
    • ‘In recent years the Cham have cultivated links to Muslims in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Arabic countries.’
    • ‘Most are ethnic Cham - fishermen and traders from the Mekong River delta converted to Islam by Malay and Arab merchants.’
    • ‘The southern portion constituted the empire of the Cham, Champa, and part of the Khmer, or Cambodian, territory.’
    • ‘As for the Khmer Rouge, while they were guilty of killing large percentages of the country's Muslim Chams, Vietnamese and Buddhist monks, the bulk of their human targets were alleged political enemies.’
    • ‘The Cham speak their own language and practice Islam.’
    • ‘Cambodian Cham are Muslim, many Vietnamese are Roman Catholic, the hill tribes are primarily traditionalist, and the Chinese Cambodians are Taoist or Buddhist.’
    • ‘Cham villages are usually comprised of only Cham.’
    • ‘The Khmer Rouge tried, without much success, to recruit the Cham during the struggle with the Khmer Republic.’
    • ‘Eighty-four per cent of the population are ethnic Vietnamese, 2 per cent ethnic Chinese, and the remainder are Khmers, Chams, and members of some sixty ethno-linguistic groups each with its own language and culture.’
    • ‘In the twentieth century, the Cham were again the victims of massacre by the majority population, this time in Cambodia.’
    • ‘He and his wife both grew up in villages along the Mekong River in an area of Kampong Cham Province rich with ethnic Cham and Cambodian Chinese.’
    • ‘Other significant ethnic groups include the Cham, Chinese, Hmong, Khmer, Muong, and Tai, though none of these groups has a population over one million.’
    • ‘His rule is remembered as glorious by present-day Cham.’
  • 2Either of two Austronesian languages of the Cham.

    • ‘Among tribal languages, Cham is the most important.’
    • ‘They speak Western Cham, a Malayo-Polynesian language that uses an old Devanagari script; the alphabet in which many modern Indian languages are written.’
    • ‘They speak Cham, and keep the old Cham traditions.’


  • Relating to the Cham, their culture, or their language.

    • ‘The Cham sites are holy places built between the 7th and 10th century.’
    • ‘We went out to My Son for a tour of the Cham ruins and again I was struck by the technological advances made so early on, in particular the absolutely immense number of uniform bricks.’
    • ‘The Cham towers, which sit perched on the town's outskirts, are a place for the locals to come and pray.’
    • ‘The ancient Cham civilization was divided geographically into four regions’
    • ‘A Cham marriage involves little ceremony.’
    • ‘Only recently has there been a revival of Cham national pride, spurred on by governmental promises of ethnic freedom.’
    • ‘Most still speak the Cham language, which belongs to the Austronesian family [and appears most closely related to the language of Aceh, Indonesia], but all are bilingual in Khmer.’
    • ‘Words in the Cham language contain up to three syllables.’
    • ‘‘Please pray for the Cham people,’ he asks his classmates.’
    • ‘Angkor Thom, the capital city built after the Cham sack of 1177, is surrounded by a 300-foot wide moat.’
    • ‘Cham dress is distinctive.’