Meaning of Shan in English:


Pronunciation /ʃɑːn/

nounplural noun Shan, plural noun Shans

  • 1A member of a people living mainly in northern Burma (Myanmar) and adjacent parts of southern China.

    ‘The Shans migrated into Myanmar from China, to the north, many centuries ago, and settled in the valleys.’
    • ‘A village settled by the Shans from Burma's Shan States in the early nineteenth century, Khun Yuam transformed itself into a small trading town.’
    • ‘The Allies supported Burmese guerrillas (largely composed of Kachins, Karens, Shans, Chins, Lushais, and Palaungs), who were able to wreak havoc behind Japanese lines.’
    • ‘The country, which achieved independence in 1948 with the end of British rule, includes many different ethnic and cultural groups, in particular the Burmans, the Shans, the Chins, and the Mons.’
    • ‘The Mons and Burmans absorbed the Pyus and similarly Burmans and Shans and Burmans and Chinese and others mixed with each other and influenced the life-style of one another.’
    • ‘Other Burmese tribes, the Burmese and the Shans, welcomed the Japanese.’
    • ‘But groups with their own states include the Karens, Chins, Shans, Kayahs, Arakanese, Mons and Kachins, and retain their distinctive culture and rural customs.’
    • ‘Razali is scheduled to hold a joint meeting with leaders of minority groups including the Shans, Kayins, Mons and Rakhines later in the day at his hotel.’
    • ‘This dynasty, which lasted from 1486 until 1752, left little cultural legacy, but expanded the kingdom through conquest of the Shans.’
    • ‘The Shans occupied Phrae and attacked Lampang and it took Thai troops some six weeks to finally subdue the rebels.’
    • ‘However, the Mon remained independent until 1539 and the Arakanese until 1784, while most of the upland territory occupied by the Shan was outside their control or only loosely under Burmese domination.’
    • ‘The black zones, which make up about 10 percent of the regions in which the Shan, Karenni, and Karen live, are rapidly shrinking.’
    • ‘The largest minority group, about ten percent of the population, is Chinese, followed by the Malay and various tribal groups, including the Hmong, Iu Mien, Lisu, Luwa, Shan, and Karen.’
    • ‘As a result, hundreds of thousands of Karen, Karenni, and Shan have been pushed into nearby jungles where they live as what the U.N. classifies as Internally Displaced People.’
  • 2mass noun The language of the Shan, related to Thai and having about 2.5 million speakers.

    • ‘Many Shans speak some of the Yunnanese dialect of Chinese and some Burmese, as well as Shan.’


  • Relating to the Shan or their language.

    ‘Children who do attend schools run by the Burmese government are likely to learn in Burmese rather than the Shan language.’
    • ‘It was in Shan state, a remote area that's on the periphery of government control, so they were very critical of the government and didn't feel like they were going to get in any trouble for speaking out.’
    • ‘Two nights before we left Myanmar we had the privilege of staying in an army outfit in a jungle in Shan state; a great experience.’
    • ‘The clashes occurred as Burma accused Thailand of shelling its territory to help ethnic Shan rebels.’
    • ‘She said ‘We went fishing, we goofed around, and I read your book, the paperback about your experience in the Shan states.’’
    • ‘The Shan states were famous for a poisonous fog.’
    • ‘Ethnic Shan rulers, who established a political center at Ava, filled the ensuing political vacuum for a short time.’
    • ‘While most temples in central Burma are Burmese in style, the temples of Shan State tend to have a distinctive look that is referred to as the Shan style.’
    • ‘In 1531, the ruler Tabinshwehti brought the kingdom to Toungoo and was able to conquer both the Shan peoples in the north and the Mon in the south.’
    • ‘It is said that prior to the Shan migration, settlements of the Karen, Pa-O, Kayah and Lua were found in the area.’
    • ‘This initiative builds on to the U.N. project for crop control and development in the Wa region of Myanmar's Shan state, to which both Washington and Tokyo contribute, the statement said.’
    • ‘Presently they number about 10,000 and come mainly from Shan villages in Muang Phong sub-district.’
    • ‘The dialect spoken in Khun Yuam is categorised into the Southern Shan language, which is influenced by the Burmese language.’