- Also Thibet. Also called Sitsang, Xizang. Official name Tibet Autonomous Region. an administrative division of China, N of the Himalayas: prior to 1950 a theocracy under the Dalai Lama; the highest country in the world, average elevation about 16,000 feet (4877 meters). 471,660 sq. mi. (1,221,599 sq. km). Capital: Lhasa.
- Plateau of. Also called Tibetan Highlands, Roof of the World. a vast plateau in S central Asia bounded by the Tarim and Qaidam basin deserts to the N and the Himalayan, Karakoram, and Pamir mountain ranges to the S and W: highest plateau in the world, averaging about 15,000 feet (4570 meters). 850,000 sq. mi. (2,200,000 sq. km).
- 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
said to be a corruption in Chinese or Arabic of Bod, indigenous name, of unknown origin. As an adjective in English, Tibetian is older (1747) but Tibetan (1822) is now the usual word. 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.