• synonyms


[mawl-teez, -tees]
  1. of or relating to Malta, its people, or their language.
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noun, plural Mal·tese.
  1. a native or inhabitant of Malta.
  2. the Arabic dialect spoken in Malta, using many Italian words.
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Origin of Maltese

First recorded in 1605–15; Malt(a) + -ese
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for maltese


  1. of or relating to Malta, its inhabitants, or their language
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  1. plural -tese a native or inhabitant of Malta
  2. the official language of Malta, a form of Arabic with borrowings from Italian, etc
  3. a breed of toy dog having a very long straight silky white coat
  4. a domestic fancy pigeon having long legs and a long neck
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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

Word Origin and History for maltese


from Malta + -ese. Maltese cat is attested from 1830; Maltese cross is from 1754 (earlier Malta cross, 1650s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper