Definition of Malayalam in US English:



  • The Dravidian language of the Indian state of Kerala, closely related to Tamil.

    • ‘Rao can speak Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi with relative ease.’
    • ‘Despite being a Telugu, she says her most satisfying numbers came in other languages like Tamil and Malayalam.’
    • ‘Indeed they continue to speak chaste Malayalam despite their long stay in Israel.’
    • ‘A few others immediately countered this and demanded that she should speak in Malayalam instead.’
    • ‘She will render a selection of her hits in Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi.’


  • Relating to Malayalam or its speakers.

    • ‘This time, the Malayalam film industry also ensured its representation at the World Cup cricket bonanza.’
    • ‘But the focus of the celebration would be an exhibition of Malayalam books.’
    • ‘This time around, the stars are mostly from the Malayalam film world.’
    • ‘Real-life Poornima is miles away from the sad-faced women she has portrayed in Malayalam serials.’
    • ‘It has instructions in Hindi and English and has a beginner's mode and an expert mode just like the Malayalam version.’


Early 19th century: from Malayalam, from mala (Tamil malai) ‘mountain’ + āḷ ‘man’.