Definition of Chinese in English:

Chinese

adjective

  • 1Relating to China or its language, culture, or people.

    • ‘Birds have held an important position in Chinese culture for millennia, appearing as background decor even on the earliest silk paintings.’
    • ‘Though Shanghai provides an interesting window into modern China, my travels outside highlighted diverse facets of Chinese culture.’
    • ‘Investing a sizeable $10 bn, the government is also sponsoring a worldwide network of schools to promote Chinese culture and language.’
    • ‘It has a different language, and Chinese artists have their own sense of pride.’
    • ‘As a Harvard undergraduate, Eisenberg had been fascinated by Chinese history and culture.’
    • ‘The network will spearhead the teaching of Chinese language and culture worldwide while strengthening economic and business ties.’
    • ‘When the government banned all expressions of Chinese art and culture in 1967, Thio switched professions.’
    • ‘Actually, it is our own opinion that memory skills are valued by the Chinese culture because they are required to learn the written language.’
    • ‘Whether you are interested in Chinese history, Chinese culture or Chinese scenery, your trip will be very interesting.’
    • ‘Feng Shui, which is deeply rooted in ancient Chinese folk culture, is an important element in architecture here.’
    • ‘The Chinese culture and language are very complex in the eyes of most Westerners.’
    • ‘He saw my Chinese language book and said that his aunt had travelled to China in 1903 to do Protestant missionary work.’
    • ‘For example, the character ‘good’ is made up of two halves signifying mother and child, emphasising the family focus within Chinese culture.’
    • ‘The national ensemble for Chinese music and dance will present folklore and a history of the distant culture of Chinese people.’
    • ‘Far from spreading overseas, as the English language has spread, and Hollywood has spread, Chinese culture seems to stay firmly in China.’
    • ‘Japan has actually two written languages: borrowed Chinese characters and a phonetic squiggle alphabet.’
    • ‘In the domestic Chinese language media, however, officials cite infection figures as low as 40,000’
    • ‘But Chinese culture had a very different idea of visual truth than Hegel had, and hence a different view of the aims of representation.’
    • ‘This is an important part of Chinese culture and visitors can sample teas from all over China.’
    • ‘It could also help to improve their Chinese language abilities and assist them in further studies and when it came to finding jobs.’
    1. 1.1 Belonging to the people forming the dominant ethnic group of China and also widely dispersed elsewhere.
      Also called Han
      • ‘The salesman referred to APP's founders, the Widjajas, an ethnic Chinese clan from Indonesia.’
      • ‘He was imprisoned briefly in 1960 for defending Indonesia's ethnic Chinese minority.’
      • ‘Song has solicited support from ethnic Chinese scholars for the open letter to China's president.’
      • ‘Tung became the first ethnic Chinese driver to test a Formula One car last year when he completed 42 laps in a BMW-Williams at the Jerez circuit in Spain.’
      • ‘MCA prides itself as being the champion of the ethnic Chinese community in the predominantly Malay-Muslim country.’
      • ‘This gorgeous specimen of a Chinese boy belonged in a museum, carved in the finest marble.’
      • ‘The passports belonging to the Chinese workers are held by management, supposedly for ‘safe keeping’.’
      • ‘There is an even mix of Malay-Muslims and ethnic Chinese voters in the constituency at just over 47% each.’
      • ‘In urban centres, there are small Indian, Arab, and ethnic Chinese communities.’
      • ‘To illustrate the cultural underpinnings of economic success, McGurn tells a story about a visit he made to an ethnic Chinese family in Manila.’
      • ‘Health authorities said the infections at the hospital have been traced to an ethnic Chinese man in his 60s.’
      • ‘Newell focuses on the amazing careers of two ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs, Chang Toy and Yip Sang.’
      • ‘This was possible because supporters could be identified as a specific minority - ethnic Chinese working at the plantations.’
      • ‘Given the wealth that the ethnic Chinese control, this is probably not an unwise strategy.’
      • ‘Although it has yet to be confirmed whether the woman in the video is a Chinese citizen or an ethnic Chinese Malaysian, Beijing reacted strongly.’
      • ‘In the mid-17th Century, a Chinese Jesuit had written a set of canticles widely performed by Chinese Catholics.’
      • ‘And indeed ethnic Chinese children living in Hong Kong have a far higher rate of asthma than children in nearby Guangzhou and in Beijing far to the north.’
      • ‘The PFP and KMT won most of their seats in these areas, as well as among the Hakka Chinese ethnic group or Taiwan's aboriginal communities.’
      • ‘A large percentage of respondents objected to mixed marriages between ethnic Chinese Indonesians and indigenous Indonesians.’
      • ‘This ancient festival, which has its origins in the ethnic Chinese community, calls upon deities for blessings and prosperity.’

noun

  • 1mass noun The Sino-Tibetan language of China.

    • ‘All the menus can be changed to support multiple languages, including Chinese, German, French and Japanese.’
    • ‘I feel very strongly that my first language was Chinese - my mother tongue.’
    • ‘Many of the signs on Christmas Island are in 3 languages - Chinese, Malay and English.’
    • ‘He went so far as to recommend Chinese as the universal language.’
    • ‘Three novels are out and translated in most of the major languages, barring Chinese.’
    • ‘It handles the above languages plus Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.’
    • ‘Four had taught Spanish as a second Language to Chinese, Moroccan, and Eastern European immigrants for a very limited time.’
    • ‘The school uses English and Chinese as the languages of instruction.’
    • ‘Of course, English is a far more global language - though primarily as a second language - than Chinese, the vast majority of whose speakers live in China.’
    • ‘The fact that up to one million people in Britain are bilingual in some of the world's great languages like Chinese, Hindi, Bengali and Spanish should be celebrated.’
    • ‘These languages include Chinese, Hindi / Urdu, Japanese, Juang, Korean, Icelandic, Lithuanian, and Russian.’
    • ‘The Beatles Anthology will be published in Britain and the USA, with plans to have it translated into dozens of languages, including Chinese.’
    • ‘Although China is becoming more inclusive, Chinese as a language is quite exclusive.’
    • ‘Skills developed as a result of the workshop can be used to go on to learn other tonal and non-tonal languages including Chinese, Vietnamese and Indonesian.’
    • ‘The majority of the population in Hong Kong is Chinese and speaks Cantonese, a dialect of Chinese, as the language for daily communication.’
    • ‘This was offered in broadband by BBC News interactive in six languages including Urdu, Chinese and Arabic.’
    • ‘Fewer than 50,000 students study Chinese, a language spoken by almost 1.5 billion people worldwide.’
    • ‘Schools in Tibet have been transformed to teach only to those students willing to learn in Chinese, a language most Tibetans do not speak.’
    • ‘In addition, they were encouraged to use the Manchu language, rather than Chinese.’
    • ‘His poems have been translated into all Indian languages and foreign languages, including Chinese, French and German.’
  • 2A native or inhabitant of China, or a person of Chinese descent.

    • ‘It was retold by the Chinese and by the national minorities of southern and southwest China.’
    • ‘Hartley easily beat Wu Minxia of China, preventing the Chinese from a possible sweep of diving gold medals.’
    • ‘If so, then plainly the Chinese of China were, in MacDonald's jargon, the ‘ingroup’.’
    • ‘By the end of the Nineteenth Century, a strong sense of nationalism swept over China and many wanted to reclaim China for the Chinese.’
    • ‘In table tennis, the Chinese are the dominant nation.’
    • ‘Indians abroad are as fond of their mother country as the Chinese are fond of China, but investment isn't a matter of the heart.’
    • ‘Fighting the Chinese in China would have led to a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.’
    • ‘In turn, many missionaries came to China to convert the Chinese to Christianity as part of colonization.’
    • ‘The purpose of the airlift was to carry enough supplies into Western China to keep the Chinese in the war.’
    • ‘SARS threatens China and the Chinese in a variety of major and extremely dangerous ways.’
    • ‘And this is why John Snow was over in China recently asking the Chinese to let their currency, the yuan, rise against the dollar.’
    • ‘As McArthur's forces drew closer to the Chinese border, the Chinese delivered many threats warning of consequences.’
    1. 2.1British informal A Chinese meal.
      ‘a takeaway Chinese washed down with Chardonnay’
      • ‘Jim was dishing up the Chinese now onto two plates.’
      • ‘As we are not in training we aren't able to burn off the Chinese or the Kebab you ate the night before.’
      • ‘Getting pizza, Chinese or curry delivered twice a week at £20 a time adds up to an impressive £173 a month.’
      • ‘Forget Chinese, Indian or pizza - a York chip shop is to deliver traditional fish and chips door-to-door.’
      • ‘She also told that the pizza would be there in five minutes, the Chinese in ten, and asked that someone go and pick up and order from Applebee's.’
    2. 2.2British informal A Chinese restaurant.
      ‘we found a Chinese in Soho’
      • ‘Now to head to the Chinese for a takeaway, then freshen up and head down to Brookes for some light refreshment.’
      • ‘For years the only decent restaurant in Manchester was the Chinese, Yang Sing.’
      • ‘I love Japanese food and, when I get time, I try to go out to a West End restaurant but it's nice and easy to be able to go to your local Chinese.’
      • ‘More fabulous is Gars - which various Brighton friends had assured me was the best Chinese in town, and having tried it I have to agree.’
      • ‘We went to Dads before we'd had any tea so when we got back we just had a couple of microwave burgers and I popped round to the Chinese for some chips and curry sauce.’
      • ‘It is situated just off the Champs d' élsyee and sandwiched between an Irish pub, and takeaway Chinese, so it is not in the most desirable spot.’

Chinese is the world's most commonly spoken first language, with an estimated 1.2 billion native speakers worldwide. The standard literary and official form, based on the Beijing dialect, is called Mandarin. Chinese script is logographic, using characters which originated as stylized pictographs but now also represent abstract concepts and the sounds of syllables. Though complex, it permits written communication between speakers of the many dialects, most of which are mutually incomprehensible in speech. For transliteration into the Roman alphabet, the Pinyin system is now usually used

Pronunciation

Chinese

/tʃʌɪˈniːz/