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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • A mountain range of central Asia extending about 2,414 km (1,500 mi) east-northeast through Kyrgyzstan, southeast Kazakhstan, and northwest China. It rises to 7,443.8 m (24,406 ft) at Pobeda Peak.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A mountain range in central Asia.


From Mandarin 天山 (Tiān-shān) ("celestial mountains") (Wiktionary)


  • The parliament voted nearly unanimously to bestow his name upon a 14,000-foot peak in the Tian Shan mountains, but there was some debate.

    Other Comments

  • The Naryn begins in the Tian Shan mountain range near the Chinese frontier high in eastern Kyrgyzstan and flows westward to irrigate the Ferghana valley in Uzbekistan where it merges with the dominant Syr Darya river.

    Derek Flood: From Totalitarianism to Turbines: The Unending Struggle for Power in Central Asia

  • Hilton said he studied the essays of the French missionary Abbé Évariste-Régis Huc, whose version of the myth of Shambala located it somewhere north of the Kunlun mountain range between Altai and Tian Shan.

    When a Billion Chinese Jump

  • Because the north slope of the Tian Shan receives more precipitation than other mountain ranges in this part of China, the plains at the southern margin of the Junggar Basin are well suited to irrigated agriculture.

    Junggar Basin semi-desert

  • Situated between the Tian Shan and Altai Mountain Ranges of northwestern China, the Junggar Basin is similar in many ways to the larger Tarim Basin that lies across the Tian Shan Range to the south.

    Junggar Basin semi-desert

  • Understory vegetation in the deciduous forests of this ecoregion is different from other parts of the Tian Shan.

    Tian Shan foothill arid steppe

  • Zonation patterns are well-defined in the northwest part of the Tian Shan.

    Tian Shan foothill arid steppe

  • The Tian Shan is not an endemic bird area, but two species, little bustard (Otis tetrax) and Houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata), occur in this ecoregion.

    Tian Shan montane steppe and meadows

  • The Tian Shan, or Celestial Mountains, are a large, isolated range surrounded by the desert basins of northern China.

    Tian Shan montane steppe and meadows

  • Vegetation of the Tian Shan was determined during the Tertiary when boreal and arctic species migrated southward during the uplift of the range to mingle with communities of plants on the lower slopes that are more characteristic of the steppes and deserts of Central Asia.

    Tian Shan montane steppe and meadows


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