Definition of Chinese box in US English:

Chinese box


  • Each of a series of nested boxes.

    ‘his stories often fit together like so many Chinese boxes’
    • ‘As usual in Mamet Country, smaller conspiracies give way to larger ones, until the heart-stopping Chinese box of a plot finally segues into a soul-sickened labyrinth of monolithic corruption.’
    • ‘The narrative opens up like a bewildering set of Chinese boxes.’
    • ‘Proceeding meanderingly, the exhibition and catalogue both open like Chinese boxes, offering the unexpected.’
    • ‘There is a sense of Chinese boxes about Mina's project.’
    • ‘The subordinate forms in a period are often nested one within the other, like Chinese boxes; in its most complex forms it can be cumbrous and hard to follow.’
    • ‘Like a Chinese box filled with layers of story, perception and entertainment, Adaptation is a joy for the mind and the senses.’
    • ‘The adaptation sensibly goes against this telescoping technique that, like a Chinese box effect, keeps the story and characters at several removes from the reader.’
    • ‘Every literary work begins with an inspiration which must accommodate itself as well as possible to a series of constraints and procedures that fit inside each other like Chinese boxes.’
    • ‘We are great fans of the Rosslyn deli gift collections because they come in such wonderful Chinese boxes.’
    • ‘An ambitious, Chinese box of a book, Salamander is about a lot of things, not least books themselves - their physicality and metaphysicality - and the creative act of reading.’
    • ‘From this point on, the film becomes increasingly complex; it calls to mind a series of Chinese boxes, with different identities and stories in each one.’
    • ‘This suggests that progress in science is much like the creation of an expanding nest of Chinese boxes.’
    • ‘Structured more like Chinese boxes, there are some of the most amazing visuals around.’