Definition of Yao in English:



  • 1A member of a mountain-dwelling people of southern China.

    • ‘Minority groups in this small, mountainous country include the Mon-Khmer, the Yao, and the Hmong.’
    • ‘After hearing Diesel's mockery of an Asian accent, Yao told reporters that Chinese in fact was difficult to learn he struggled to master it himself.’
    • ‘Geddes' master plan was for there to be studies of each of the ‘six main hill tribes’, identified as Hmong, Yao, Karen, Lisu, Lahu and Akha.’
    • ‘In 1836 the Yao of Hunan, under White Lotus preachers, started a fitful war of resistance which flared up once more in 1855 during the chaos of the Taiping Rebellion.’
    • ‘Farther north are the Makonde near the coast and the Yao near Lake Malawi.’
    • ‘The Yao of Liannan are dominated by the Bai-Yao and the Guoshan-Yao.’
    • ‘China has scores of so-called ‘minority’ ethnic groups - Tibetan, Kirghiz, Yao, Uigur and many more.’
    • ‘Some other scholars have argued that it may have derived from a script used by a non-Chinese people living nearby, called the Yao.’
    • ‘Geddes contributed the study on the Hmong, Miles worked amongst the Yao, and I amongst the Karen, after two years as full-time adviser.’
  • 2The language of the Yao.

    • ‘Five percent of the people speak Yao, and 30 percent speak Arabic.’


  • Relating to the Yao or their language.

    • ‘Although the local government has built new houses at lower elevations for them, Yao people are more accustomed to living in high places.’
    • ‘It is also a very scenic route, with spectacular landscapes, vegetation, and historical ruins as well as typical Yao villages, temples, and other tourist attractions.’
    • ‘This Yao village is located at the foot of a mountain with a beautiful river zig-zagging around it.’


From Chinese Yáo, literally precious jade.