[ chahy-neez, -nees ]
/ tʃaɪˈniz, -ˈnis /

noun, plural Chi·nese.

the standard language of China, based on the speech of Beijing; Mandarin.
a group of languages of the Sino-Tibetan family, including standard Chinese and most of the other languages of China. Abbreviation: Chin., Chin
any of the Chinese languages, which vary among themselves to the point of mutual unintelligibility.
a native or descendant of a native of China.


of or relating to China, its inhabitants, or one of their languages.
noting or pertaining to the partly logographic, partly phonetic script used for the writing of Chinese, Japanese, and other languages, consisting of thousands of brushstroke characters written in vertical columns from right to left.

Origin of Chinese

First recorded in 1570–80; Chin(a) + -ese

usage note for Chinese

The adjective Chinese is found in a few set phrases ( Chinese copy, Chinese fire drill, Chinese money. and Chinese tour ) in which it represents inferiority—implying that something is less good, useful, or effective, or that it is not authentic. Although insulting a particular person or nationality may be unintentional, it is best to be aware that use of these terms is usually perceived as offensive to or by the Chinese.


non-Chi·nese, noun, plural non·-Chi·nese, adjective pre-Chi·nese, adjective, noun, plural pre·-Chi·nese. pro-Chi·nese, adjective, noun, plural pro·-Chi·nese. pseu·do-Chi·nese, adjective, noun, plural pseu·do-Chi·nese.

Example sentences from the Web for chinese

British Dictionary definitions for chinese

/ (tʃaɪˈniːz) /


of, relating to, or characteristic of China, its people, or their languages


plural -nese a native or inhabitant of China or a descendant of one
any of the languages of China belonging to the Sino-Tibetan family, sometimes regarded as dialects of one language. They share a single writing system that is not phonetic but ideographic. A phonetic system using the Roman alphabet was officially adopted by the Chinese government in 1966 See also Mandarin Chinese, Pekingese, Cantonese

Other words from Chinese

Related prefix: Sino-