Definition of sheng in English:



  • A Chinese form of mouth organ with about seventeen reed pipes of bamboo set in a rounded windchest.

    • ‘Flush out your ears and stay awhile, for the sheng, the tanbur, the zarb and the dutar, all these instruments from various cultures in Asia and the Middle East, they need to sing to you.’
    • ‘The sounds of the erhu and sheng are eerily beautiful against the symphony orchestra, evoking a timeless, ceremonial atmosphere against which the outbursts of percussion feel peremptory, even ill-mannered.’
    • ‘Inspired by the Chinese sheng, many 18th-century makers experimented with the possibilities of free reeds.’


Late 18th century: from Chinese shēng.