plural Lao or Laos ˈlau̇z How to pronounce Lao (audio)
: a member of a Buddhist people living in Laos and adjacent parts of northeastern Thailand
: the Tai language of the Lao people
Lao adjective

Examples of Lao in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Set on a hilltop looking toward the historic city where crowds gather to watch the monks parade each morning, the resort contains just 32 junior suites and two suites within colonial-style buildings blended with traditional Lao touches. Mark Ellwood, Robb Report, 10 July 2024 Mama Lao Kitchen will replace Phan's Garden, a Vietnamese restaurant that closed earlier this year. Jessica Rodriguez, Journal Sentinel, 25 June 2024 The market has expanded dramatically since the Chinese company Lao Gan Ma introduced its sauce in the 1980s. Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times, 31 May 2024 There are also flights, to-go cans and nonalcoholic drinks like Red Bull, Wang Lao Ji herbal tea and Partake Brewing’s peach gose. John Metcalfe, The Mercury News, 24 May 2024 German, Polish, Hmong and Lao residents also make up the current neighborhood. Bridget Fogarty, Journal Sentinel, 17 May 2024 So at the social work center upstairs, students learn basic Lao and English, in addition to life skills such as managing their finances. Zinara Rathnayake, The Christian Science Monitor, 15 May 2024 But there’s also Chester the Cheetah, the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, Albert Einstein and what feels like one young Arnold Schwarzenegger per block. Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2024 On this last visit, there were packs of Buldak kimchi spicy chicken ramen for $1.49 (at Walmart, a five-pack is going for $15.95) and jars of Lao Gan Ma spicy chili crisp for $3.49. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Lao.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1808, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Lao was in 1808

Dictionary Entries Near Lao

Cite this Entry

“Lao.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural Lao or Laos
: a member of a people living in Laos and northeastern Thailand
: the language of the Lao people which is closely related to Thai
Lao adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on Lao

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