Ui·​ghur ˈwē-ˌgu̇r How to pronounce Uighur (audio)
variants or Uyghur or less commonly Uigur
plural Uighur or Uighurs or Uyghur or Uyghurs also Uigur or Uigurs
: a member of a Turkic people powerful in Mongolia and eastern Turkestan between the 8th and 12th centuries a.d. who constitute a majority of the population of Chinese Turkestan
: the Turkic language of the Uighurs
Uighur adjective
or Uyghur or less commonly Uigur

Examples of Uighur in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The afternoon brought a familiar face: Abdullah Aktaş, another Uighur, who was nearly twenty years his senior and had been in Turkey long enough that he’d been granted citizenship. John Beck, Harper's Magazine, 4 Mar. 2022 Ethnically Uighur, Mamat left China at age 12 after an uprising in the region of East Turkestan, where most of Mamat’s extended family still lives. Ingrid Wickelgren, Scientific American, 20 Sep. 2023 The government is also sending Uighur children to Chinese-language boarding schools, destroying mosques and Muslim shrines, banning religious and cultural practices, and imprisoning members of the Uighur cultural elite. Sean R. Roberts, Foreign Affairs, 16 Feb. 2021 It can also be spelled in different ways: Uighur, Uygur or Uigur. Caitlin O'Kane, CBS News, 28 June 2023 Regular stories in the international press highlighting the treatment of Muslims in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region tend to obscure the fact that Islam was once highly regarded by Chinese emperors. Alessandra Cappelletti, Quartz, 12 Mar. 2021 Trump and his administration have clashed with China on trade, its expansion into the South China Sea, the crackdown of protesters in Hong Kong and accusations of human rights violations on its Muslim Uighur minority. NBC News, 23 Sep. 2020 In conversations with Chinese President Xi Jinping early in Trump’s tenure, Bolton says that Trump encouraged Beijing’s use of concentration camps to round up and detain its Muslim Uighur population. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 18 June 2020 Angry over campus speech by Uighur activist, Chinese students in Canada contact their consulate, film presentation The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is investigating the source of the leaks. Christian Shepherd, Washington Post, 10 May 2023

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

Word History


Uighur Uighur

First Known Use

1747, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Uighur was in 1747

Dictionary Entries Near Uighur

Cite this Entry

“Uighur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Uighur. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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