- a constitutional monarchy in SE Asia: a federation, comprising the former British territories of Malaya, Sabah, and Sarawak: member of the Commonwealth of Nations. 126,310 sq. mi. (327,143 sq. km). Capital: Kuala Lumpur.
- Malay Archipelago.
- a federation in SE Asia (within the Commonwealth), consisting of Peninsular Malaysia on the Malay Peninsula, and East Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak), occupying the N part of the island of Borneo: formed in 1963 as a federation of Malaya, Sarawak, Sabah, and Singapore (the latter seceded in 1965); densely forested and mostly mountainous. Official language: Malay; English and various Chinese and Indian minority languages are also spoken. Official religion: Muslim. Currency: ringgit. Capital: Kuala Lumpur. Federal seat of government: Putrajaya. Pop: 29 628 392 (2013 est). Area: 329 847 sq km (127 355 sq miles)
from Malay + Latinate ending -sia. Originally an early 19c. British geographers’ name for the Indonesian archipelago. Related: Malaysian. Country in Southeast Asia consisting of West Malaysia on the Malay Peninsula (extending south of Thailand) and East Malaysia on the island of Borneo. Its capital and largest city is Kuala Lumpur.