Definition of tael in English:



  • 1A weight used in China and East Asia, of varying amount but fixed in China at 50 grams (13/4 oz.).

    • ‘Though the victim of this armed aggression, China was forced to pay the aggressor 21 million taels of silver in ‘war reparation’ and opened five trading ports.’
    • ‘Once each year, I would travel to Ping's father and pay him an annual remuneration of twenty taels of silver, which amounted to less than thirteen American dollars.’
    • ‘Due to the intercession of Russia, Germany and France, the Manchurian government paid Japan 300 million taels of silver to ‘reclaim’ Liaotung.’
    • ‘The garden's building project lasted 10 years and cost Gu more than 10,000 taels of silver.’
    • ‘The savvy businessman demanded a high annual rent of 50,000 taels of silver, and after 30 years, he wanted the Kwok family to return both the land and the store to his interests.’
    1. 1.1 A former Chinese monetary unit based on the value of a tael of standard silver.
      • ‘For example, following the offer of its shares to the public, the capital increased from 476,000 taels in 1874 to two million taels in 1884.’
      • ‘But the price had skyrocketed so much that her entire savings converted into just a few measly taels.’
      • ‘Nevertheless her indebtedness should not be exaggerated; the ill consequences were more the result of China's inelastic revenue system than of the real burden of foreign debt, which amounted only to one tael per capita.’
      • ‘The construction fee plus the cost of equipment reached over 50,000 tael.’
      • ‘He believes that even craftsmen and laborers above the lowest level, who generally made 1.5 tael or so a month plus payments in kind, could afford books, but this assumes that they could save a tael a month.’
      • ‘Because of their ability to provide arbitrage among the complex monies of China, they coexisted with modern banks until the reorganization of the currency in 1933 to a silver dollar rather than the Chinese tael.’
      • ‘The one-and-a-half-million tael facility was donated anonymously to the municipality by a British businessman, believed to be a leading philanthropist of the time.’
      • ‘Its total capital expenditure reached 2 million taels in 1882 and 2.3 million taels in 1891.’
      • ‘In 1910, 16 other Britons accumulated 16,000 taels and bought the Dalla Horse Repository, located at the present crossroad of Hongqiao Lu and Hami Lu, to change it into a club.’
      • ‘The two businessmen proposed that they lease the market from the Municipal Council of the French Concession for 500 taels in tax a year for 10 years.’
      • ‘In 1877, it was bought by the Chinese Merchant Steam Navigation Co for 220 million tael.’
      • ‘It invested over 773,000 taels to reconstruct the shipbuilding factory.’


From Malay tahil ‘weight’.