[ ti-bet ]

  1. Official name Tibet Autonomous Region. an administrative division of China, north of the Himalayas: prior to 1950 a theocracy under the Dalai Lama; the highest country in the world, average elevation about 16,000 feet (4,877 meters). 471,660 square miles (1,221,599 square kilometers). Capital: Lhasa.: Also (Older Spelling) Thi·bet .Also called (Older Spelling) Si·tsang [see-tsahng], /ˈsiˈtsɑŋ/, (Pinyin) Xi·zang [shee-zahng] /ˈʃiˈzɑŋ/ .

  2. Plateau of Tibet, a vast plateau in southern central Asia bounded by the Tarim and Qaidam basin deserts to the north and the Himalayan, Karakoram, and Pamir mountain ranges to the south and west: highest plateau in the world, averaging about 15,000 feet (4,570 meters). 850,000 square miles (2,200,000 square kilometers).: Also called Tibetan Highlands, Roof of the World .

Origin of Tibet

First recorded in 1740–50; from New Latin Tibetum, Thibetum; further origin uncertain

Other words from Tibet

  • Ti·bet·an, adjective, noun

Words Nearby Tibet

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Tibet in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Tibet


/ (tɪˈbɛt) /

  1. an autonomous region of SW China; formerly a theocracy and the centre of Lamaism: Europeans strictly excluded in the 19th century; invaded by China in 1950; rebellion (1959) against Chinese rule suppressed and the Dalai Lama fled to India; military rule imposed (1989–90) after continued demands for independence; consists largely of a vast high plateau between the Himalayas and Kunlun Mountains. Capital: Lhasa. Pop: 2 700 000 (2003 est). Area: 1 221 601 sq km (471 660 sq miles): Chinese names: Xizang Autonomous Region, Sitsang

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

Cultural definitions for Tibet


Region in southwestern China, bordered by Burma to the southeast; India, Bhutan, and Nepal to the south; India to the west; and Chinese provinces to the north and east. Located in the Himalayas.

Notes for Tibet

The Dalai Lama, religious and civil leader of Tibet, was forced into exile in 1959, when the Chinese annexed the country.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.