Definition of Malaya in US English:


proper noun

  • A former country in Southeast Asia, consisting of the southern part of the Malay Peninsula and some adjacent islands (originally including Singapore), now forming the western part of the federation of Malaysia and known as West Malaysia.

The area was colonized by the Dutch, Portuguese, and the British, who eventually became dominant; the several Malay states federated under British control in 1896. The country became independent in 1957, the federation expanding to become Malaysia in 1963