a desert in south central Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, in China. About 125,000 sq. mi. (323,750 sq. km).
First recorded in 1895–1900; of uncertain origin: perhaps from Turkic taqlar makan “place of ruins”; perhaps from Uyghur Takla, from Persian tark “to abandon” + Persian makan “place”; some Chinese scholars connect Taklamakan and Tocharian
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