AskDefine | Define Chinese

Dictionary Definition

Chinese adj
1 of or pertaining to China or its peoples or cultures; "Chinese food"
2 of or relating to or characteristic of the island republic on Taiwan or its residents or their language; "the Taiwanese capital is Taipeh" [syn: Taiwanese, Formosan]


1 any of the Sino-Tibetan languages spoken in China; regarded as dialects of a single language (even though they are mutually unintelligible) because they share an ideographic writing system
2 a native or inhabitant of Communist China or of Nationalist China

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /tʃaɪˈniːz/, /tSaI"ni:z/
  • Rhymes: -iːz


  1. The class of Sino-Tibetan dialects including Mandarin, Wu, Cantonese, Min Nan and others. Abbreviation: Chin or Chin.
  2. The logographic writing system shared by this language family.
    • Hong Kong uses traditional Chinese.
  3. Mandarin, the main language spoken in China.
  4. (used as a plural and always preceded by the) The people of China.
    • The Chinese have an incredible history.
  5. All people of Chinese descent or self-identity
    • The Chinese are present in all parts of the world.
  6. A person born in China.
    • The place was empty till two Chinese walked in.
  7. In the context of "UK|countable|informal": A Chinese meal.
    • We're going out tonight for a Chinese.
  8. In the context of "US|uncountable|informal": Chinese food.
    • Do you care for Chinese tonight?

Usage notes

  • A determiner is required in the sense of "the Chinese people".


Derived terms

Related terms


the language
writing system of Chinese
the people
person born in China
US informal: Chinese food
Original note: "Note: The translations for the language apply for the the people for all languages above except the following:" ''These translations were given for the sense "the people". It is insufficient to say "see above" because this makes the tables dependent on one another and relies on both being kept up to date and in synch. Further, many of these translations give singular and plural forms or singular forms alone, when they should probably give plural forms only.''


  1. Of China, its languages or people
  2. Unexpected, as used in the phrases Chinese whispers, Chinese burn, Chinese auction.



relating to China

External links



  1. male person from China

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Chinese refers to anything pertaining to China. Specifically, it may refer to:
  • Chinese language, a language or language family that forms part of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages
    • Standard Mandarin, the standard spoken form of the Chinese and most commonly taught as a foreign language. It is also an official language in the predominately Chinese Singapore.
    • Standard Cantonese, often officially referred to as "Chinese" in the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau in the People's Republic of China
    • Spoken Chinese, many regional variants of the Chinese language
Chinese may also used as a modifier for Western activities and items that are most likely not of Chinese origin, such as:
For the etymology of the word Chinese, see Names of China.
Chinese in German: Chinesisch
Chinese in French: Chinois
Chinese in Galician: Chinés
Chinese in Italian: Cinese
Chinese in Malay (macrolanguage): Cina
Chinese in Dutch: Chinees
Chinese in Norwegian Nynorsk: Kinesisk
Chinese in Portuguese: Chinês
Chinese in Slovak: Čínsky
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