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[lah-ohs, lous, ley-os; French la-aws] /ˈlɑ oʊs, laʊs, ˈleɪ ɒs; French laˈɔs/
a country in SE Asia: formerly part of French Indochina. 91,500 sq. mi. (236,985 sq. km).
Capital: Vientiane.
Related forms
pro-Laos, adjective


[lou] /laʊ/
noun, plural Laos
[louz] /laʊz/ (Show IPA).
(especially collectively) Lao for 1.
a member of a people of Laos and northern Thailand.
the language of these people, belonging to the Thai group of languages. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for Laos


/laʊz; laʊs/
a republic in SE Asia: first united as the kingdom of Lan Xang ("million elephants") in 1353, after being a province of the Khmer Empire for about four centuries; made part of French Indochina in 1893 and gained independence in 1949; became a republic in 1975. It is generally forested and mountainous, with the Mekong River running almost the whole length of the W border. Official language: Laotian. Religion: Buddhist majority, tribal religions. Currency: kip. Capital: Vientiane. Pop: 6 695 166 (2013 est). Area: 236 800 sq km (91 429 sq miles) Official name People's Democratic Republic of Laos


adjective, noun
another name for Laotian


Laos (international car registration)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Laos

Southeast Asian land, from the name of legendary founder Lao. Related: Laotian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Laos in Culture
Laos [(lows, lah-ohs)]

Mountainous, landlocked republic in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma to the northwest, China to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west. Its capital and largest city is Vientiane.

Note: Part of French Indochina from 1893 to 1949, it was granted full sovereignty in 1954.
Note: Civil war among communist and noncommunist factions in the 1950s and 1960s attracted extensive covert aid from the Soviet Union, China, and the United States.
Note: During the Vietnam War, Vietnamese communists established the Ho Chi Minh Trail through the remote mountains of Laos to channel troops and supplies from North Vietnam to South Vietnam.
Note: The communist Pathet Lao, with long-standing close ties to the Vietnamese communists, have been in power since 1975.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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