Definition of Sinitic in US English:



  • Relating to or denoting the division of the Sino-Tibetan language family that includes the many forms of spoken Chinese.

    • ‘Southeast Asian governments have promoted national languages at the expense of Chinese-medium education, thus eroding one important base for the continuation of Sinitic culture in overseas Chinese communities.’
    • ‘The introduction provides an up-to-date description of Sinitic languages in terms of history and geography, placing the goals of the volume into perspective.’
    • ‘One of the unique features of the Sinitic languages is the quality of sound used to designate differences in meanings between words or syllables.’
    • ‘Among Sinitic languages, there are at least seven or eight major branches that are mutually unintelligible.’
    • ‘Not to do so will only lead to costly inefficiency for all users of Sinitic language materials.’


Late 19th century: via late Latin from Greek sinai ‘the Chinese’, from Arabic ṣīn, denoting the Chinese empire.