[mawl-teez, -tees]


of or relating to Malta, its people, or their language.

noun, plural Mal·tese.

a native or inhabitant of Malta.
the Arabic dialect spoken in Malta, using many Italian words.

Origin of Maltese

First recorded in 1605–15; Malt(a) + -ese Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for maltese

Contemporary Examples of maltese

  • Robert Graves thought Hammett was better than either Chandler or Asbury and called The Maltese Falcon, “a literary landmark.”

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Man With Stories to Tell

    Allen Barra

    December 8, 2013

  • “So I called out of the clear blue sky with no agenda,” she remembers, as she holds up her Maltese, Max, for smooches.

  • Not at all, as it turns out: He is worried about his little Maltese, which has a persistent liver infection.

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    Paul Bremer's Victory Lap

    Tunku Varadarajan

    March 29, 2010

Historical Examples of maltese

British Dictionary definitions for maltese



of or relating to Malta, its inhabitants, or their language


plural -tese a native or inhabitant of Malta
the official language of Malta, a form of Arabic with borrowings from Italian, etc
a breed of toy dog having a very long straight silky white coat
a domestic fancy pigeon having long legs and a long neck
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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper