Definitions

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The higher literary idiom of Chinese, that of the canonical books and of all composition pretending to literary standing. It employs a classical or academic diction, and a more condensed and sententious style than Mandarin, and differs also in the doubling and arrangement of words.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • An article in New Youth fired the first shot in the battle between wen-li, the ancient classical written language intelligible only to scholars, and pai-hua baihua, the despised medium of ordinary speech.

    PEARL BUCK IN CHINA

  • Perhaps the Sydenstrickers recognized that China had marked Pearl indelibly, and perhaps they felt she should learn literary wen-li as an antidote to the racy popular language she spoke with her friends and Wang Amah.

    PEARL BUCK IN CHINA

  • wen-li ancient classical written Chinese language, 50, 90, 136–37

    PEARL BUCK IN CHINA

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