Definition of Confucian in US English:



  • Relating to Confucius or Confucianism.

    • ‘On certain matters Buddhism seemed in conflict with Confucian values.’
    • ‘Oh I think very much, both in the North and in the South, you can see Confucian elements.’
    • ‘Despite all the feudal preaching and Confucian doctrines, many young men in ancient China climbed over the high garden walls at night to meet their sweethearts.’
    • ‘In traditional Korean society, parental roles have been based on Confucian philosophy, which offers ethical teachings for human relationships.’
    • ‘Few tasks in any society are as sacred as the disposal of the dead, and that is even more true in a society with traditions of ancestor worship and Confucian respect for parents.’
    • ‘This assertion denies the history of Buddhist entry into Japan, in which Shinto gods were honored as bodhisattvas and Taoist and Confucian values were prized.’
    • ‘To praise the emperor who burned the Confucian books and buried Confucian scholars alive was the equivalent in China of praising King Herod who massacred the innocents.’
    • ‘Every self-respecting Confucian gentlemen had Four Friends, four constant companions to his life.’
    • ‘Thus, in brief, the basic tenets of Confucian thought are obedience to and respect for superiors and parents, duty to family, loyalty, humility, sincerity, and courtesy.’
    • ‘So he thought that there was a need to strengthen the moral fibre of China and that Christianity would help there, not by supplanting Confucian values but by extending them.’
    • ‘The book was aimed at putting an end to Confucian scholars' misunderstanding of Buddhism and informing them of the true meaning.’
    • ‘Besides these Confucian ideals, my father also practiced a Daoist lifestyle, based on the teachings of Lao Tzu.’
    • ‘There are, of course, interesting cases in which religious traditions are combined - cases in which people may follow both Buddhist and Confucian paths, for instance.’
    • ‘Statues and ritual objects made of bell and other semi-precious metals were found tossed in the basement of another derelict building known as Kong Meo, Confucian temple.’
    • ‘The way in which particularist reasoning is illustrated in historical stories such as those about Shun is also a distinctive feature of Confucian ethics.’
    • ‘These are designed to rebalance the cosmos in much the same way as the Emperor rebalanced the cosmos in the strange mixture of Shamanic and Confucian rituals at the solstices at the temples of Heaven and Earth.’
    • ‘The families do not usually want their children going off to the temples, for obvious reasons as well as the fact that Korea still has strong Confucian influences.’
    • ‘China is an ancient civilization, and for over 2000 years attitudes toward education were strongly influenced by Confucian philosophy.’
    • ‘Many Koreans believe in ancestral spirits and observe Confucian rituals concerning funerals, mourning practices, and memorial services.’
    • ‘He could not accept the Confucian belief that an emperor should follow traditional rites, and so ordered the burning of all Confucian books, the banning of Confucian teaching, and the killing of scholars.’


  • An adherent of Confucianism.

    • ‘A Confucian no more enjoys having his nails pulled out than a Christian.’
    • ‘Catholic theology need not be taught by a Catholic any more than Chinese religions need be taught by Taoists or Confucians.’
    • ‘To say that one is a Buddhist is like saying, ‘I am a Catholic’ or ‘I am a Protestant’ or ‘I am a Confucian.’’
    • ‘A smattering of noodle shops leads into an Asian quarter thick with Buddhists, Shintoists and Confucians.’
    • ‘The idea came from Buddhism rather than Confucianism, but for Confucians it implied no other-worldly quietism.’
    • ‘This is as true of conversations between Confucians from Shanghai and Pentecostalists from Peoria, as it is for conversations between people who differ in class and gender, or profession, or along a whole range of dimensions of identity.’
    • ‘Most of the Chinese are Buddhists, Confucians, or Taoists and a few are Christians.’
    • ‘Most Confucians accommodated slavery within a cosmology that stressed natural hierarchy and the dependence of social harmony on unequal statuses.’
    • ‘For the Confucians, the principal role of the civil ruler was to provide an impeccable example for others to follow.’
    • ‘It also challenges the painter-monk who regretted the transgressions of his present life, and in particular the falseness of his identity as a Confucian and a Buddhist.’
    • ‘There was a strong reform group of Confucians with which he was associated who held the same view and were trying to do something about what they saw to be the sapping of Chinese values by Buddhism.’
    • ‘A traditional Confucian might see this problem of order and rights as a question of good manners or in terms of his profoundly ceremonial or ritual conception of human intercourse, in terms of li.’
    • ‘Both traditional Confucians and the Communist Party view education as a method for inculcating values in the young.’