Definition of Lao in US English:



  • 1A member of an indigenous people of Laos and northeastern Thailand.

    • ‘He has built reliquaries and other religious monuments indiscriminately in areas inhabited by many Tai-speaking groups (Northern Thai, Lue, Lao, Khoen and Shan).’
    • ‘I would be working with ethnic Lao, and the objective was to collect intelligence on the VC.’
    • ‘Now, many Lao follow the itineraries of Thai royalty as if to fill a cultural absence at home.’
    • ‘The San Francisco-based Jhai Foundation, dedicated to improving the social and economic lives of Lao through a variety of programs, believes it can.’
    • ‘The Lao then moved to attack the Thai main force under Pya Bodin but were defeated in a battle at Bokvarn.’
    • ‘The descendants of the people of Nanchao make up the modern day Shan, Lao and Thai.’
    • ‘Ricebowl is a phrase used to describe people of Asian origin, Indians, Cambodians, Lao, Thais, Vietnamese, Chinese, et cetera.’
    • ‘By the end of 1999, more than 28,900 Hmong and lowland Lao had voluntarily repatriated to Laos - 3,500 from China and the rest from Thailand.’
    • ‘For many Lao, such items as meat, ducks, and chicken are luxuries.’
  • 2The Tai language of the Lao, closely related to Thai.

    Also called Laotian
    • ‘Only one of the 6 Lao group members spoke English and Khmer is not very close to Lao - so it was a bit tricky.’
    • ‘A year later, Bosnian, Mandarin, Thai, Mien, Tagalog, and Lao had been added.’
    • ‘Lao belongs to the Tai family of languages and is related to Thai, but Lao has its own alphabet and numbers.’
    • ‘Some Hmong Americans adhere to the Chao Fa (in Lao, literally, ‘Lord of the Sky’) religion.’
    • ‘Originally starting as an interpreter while deployed in Malaya, he can now speak Tetun, Vietnamese, Chinese, Lao and German among others.’
    • ‘Although the tones vary somewhat from one part of the country to another, the dialect of the capital, Vientiane, is considered standard Lao.’
    • ‘That would be no problem for ours who all speak two languages - Thai and Lao!’
    • ‘It is distantly related to Cantonese and other Chinese dialects, and closely related to Lao and Thai.’
    • ‘Because of the pattern of males leaving the village to work in cities or in northern Thailand for a few years, men are more likely to speak a national language like Thai or Lao.’
    • ‘Two of the participants' mothers spoke Lao as their native language but were also able to speak Hmong with ease.’
    • ‘Both of them speak Thai and Lao despite being brought up outside of Thailand.’
    • ‘He needed two interpreters, one for Lave to Lao, and the other for Lao to English.’


  • Relating to the Lao or their language.

    • ‘Then I remembered going to uncle's house and pretending to fall asleep just as the car would pull up in the driveway, so that I wouldn't get my cheeks pinched by the Lao relatives.’
    • ‘There are also a couple of masseurs offering traditional Lao massage, a regimen of stretching and bone-crunching worthy of the most committed contortionist.’
    • ‘Money is handed over - the preferred US dollars rather than Lao kip - and lunch is secured.’
    • ‘You could eat the chicken stew every day for a week and not get bored, and the Lao tomato sauce makes Mexican salsa seem insipid by comparison.’
    • ‘The four-day conference in the Lao capital brings together central and local government health officials from across the region.’
    • ‘It looks like the Lao government is actually handling it pretty well.’
    • ‘That aside, conversation with these young monks, keen to brush up on their English, can give the tourist a unique insight into Lao culture - and in most cases their intentions are wholly genuine, if not genuinely holy.’
    • ‘The Lao government worries that Lao language and culture is being corrupted by the popularity of these programs and that youth are learning the wrong values from the commercialism of Thailand.’
    • ‘We have consistently called for the Lao government to respect the rights of its ethnic minorities and to press the government of Laos to resolve - to resolve this problem in a humanitarian and a peaceful way.’
    • ‘In conjunction with the British organization Mines Advisory Group, MCC launched a program in 1994 to train Lao workers to find and detonate bombs safely.’
    • ‘‘There is credible information that individuals may be planning to bomb Lao government and public facilities in and near Vientiane’ and four other areas, it said.’
    • ‘As I strolled back alone through the field, some Lao tourists with their children neared me.’
    • ‘Working discreetly (sometimes openly) with Lao politicians and military officers, foreign merchants siphoned off huge sums of official money.’
    • ‘It was built in 1904 by the French and displays a tasteful fusion of European and Lao designs.’
    • ‘Funding and direction are said to come from a Lao exile living in the United States who claims to be fighting for democracy and the return of monarchy to Laos.’
    • ‘Therefore, they recruited the Hmong and the Lao forces to sort of replace the operations for the United States there.’
    • ‘Thanks, unquestionably, to the exposure lent by the Weekender article, our exhibition and charity sale of Lao silk textiles was an overwhelming success.’
    • ‘As such, she assists in promoting Lao culture, language, and arts through classes and support services.’
    • ‘The new drugs cost about £1.25 a dose compared with 5p for chloroquine, so the Lao government sticks with the cheaper option.’
    • ‘One being the stories my father would tell me of Crowded House recording in the same studios as him, when he had his popular Lao music band.’


The name in Lao.