Definition of Chinese in US English:

Chinese

adjective

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

    • ‘Feng Shui, which is deeply rooted in ancient Chinese folk culture, is an important element in architecture here.’
    • ‘As a Harvard undergraduate, Eisenberg had been fascinated by Chinese history and culture.’
    • ‘He saw my Chinese language book and said that his aunt had travelled to China in 1903 to do Protestant missionary work.’
    • ‘In the domestic Chinese language media, however, officials cite infection figures as low as 40,000’
    • ‘It could also help to improve their Chinese language abilities and assist them in further studies and when it came to finding jobs.’
    • ‘For example, the character ‘good’ is made up of two halves signifying mother and child, emphasising the family focus within Chinese culture.’
    • ‘When the government banned all expressions of Chinese art and culture in 1967, Thio switched professions.’
    • ‘The Chinese culture and language are very complex in the eyes of most Westerners.’
    • ‘Investing a sizeable $10 bn, the government is also sponsoring a worldwide network of schools to promote Chinese culture and language.’
    • ‘The network will spearhead the teaching of Chinese language and culture worldwide while strengthening economic and business ties.’
    • ‘Though Shanghai provides an interesting window into modern China, my travels outside highlighted diverse facets of Chinese culture.’
    • ‘It has a different language, and Chinese artists have their own sense of pride.’
    • ‘Whether you are interested in Chinese history, Chinese culture or Chinese scenery, your trip will be very interesting.’
    • ‘But Chinese culture had a very different idea of visual truth than Hegel had, and hence a different view of the aims of representation.’
    • ‘Actually, it is our own opinion that memory skills are valued by the Chinese culture because they are required to learn the written language.’
    • ‘The national ensemble for Chinese music and dance will present folklore and a history of the distant culture of Chinese people.’
    • ‘This is an important part of Chinese culture and visitors can sample teas from all over China.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Birds have held an important position in Chinese culture for millennia, appearing as background decor even on the earliest silk paintings.’
    1. 1.1 Belonging to the people forming the dominant ethnic group of China and also widely dispersed elsewhere.
      Also called Han
      • ‘The passports belonging to the Chinese workers are held by management, supposedly for ‘safe keeping’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This ancient festival, which has its origins in the ethnic Chinese community, calls upon deities for blessings and prosperity.’
      • ‘This was possible because supporters could be identified as a specific minority - ethnic Chinese working at the plantations.’
      • ‘In urban centres, there are small Indian, Arab, and ethnic Chinese communities.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the mid-17th Century, a Chinese Jesuit had written a set of canticles widely performed by Chinese Catholics.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He was imprisoned briefly in 1960 for defending Indonesia's ethnic Chinese minority.’
      • ‘To illustrate the cultural underpinnings of economic success, McGurn tells a story about a visit he made to an ethnic Chinese family in Manila.’
      • ‘A large percentage of respondents objected to mixed marriages between ethnic Chinese Indonesians and indigenous Indonesians.’
      • ‘There is an even mix of Malay-Muslims and ethnic Chinese voters in the constituency at just over 47% each.’
      • ‘This gorgeous specimen of a Chinese boy belonged in a museum, carved in the finest marble.’
      • ‘Song has solicited support from ethnic Chinese scholars for the open letter to China's president.’
      • ‘MCA prides itself as being the champion of the ethnic Chinese community in the predominantly Malay-Muslim country.’
      • ‘The salesman referred to APP's founders, the Widjajas, an ethnic Chinese clan from Indonesia.’

noun

  • 1The Sino-Tibetan language of China.

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Fighting the Chinese in China would have led to a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.’
    • ‘By the end of the Nineteenth Century, a strong sense of nationalism swept over China and many wanted to reclaim China for the Chinese.’
    • ‘Hartley easily beat Wu Minxia of China, preventing the Chinese from a possible sweep of diving gold medals.’
    • ‘In table tennis, the Chinese are the dominant nation.’
    • ‘If so, then plainly the Chinese of China were, in MacDonald's jargon, the ‘ingroup’.’
    • ‘SARS threatens China and the Chinese in a variety of major and extremely dangerous ways.’
    • ‘It was retold by the Chinese and by the national minorities of southern and southwest China.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As McArthur's forces drew closer to the Chinese border, the Chinese delivered many threats warning of consequences.’
    • ‘And this is why John Snow was over in China recently asking the Chinese to let their currency, the yuan, rise against the dollar.’

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

/ˌCHīˈnēz//ˌtʃaɪˈniz/