- a kingdom in SE Asia; population 65,998,400 (est. 2009); official language, Thai; capital, Bangkok. Former name (until 1939) Siam.
A powerful Thai kingdom emerged in the 14th century. In the 19th century it lost territory in the east to France and in the south to Britain. Thailand was occupied by the Japanese in the Second World War; it supported the US in the Vietnam War, later experiencing a large influx of refugees from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Absolute monarchy was abolished in 1932, the king remaining head of state