from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or relating to China or its peoples, languages, or cultures.
  • noun A native or inhabitant of China.
  • noun A person of Chinese ancestry.
  • noun The sole member of the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family, consisting of numerous languages and dialects such as Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and Fujian.
  • noun Any of the Sinitic varieties of speech spoken by the Chinese people.
  • noun The official national language of China; Mandarin.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of or pertaining to China.
  • noun singular and plural (plural also formerly Chineses). A native or natives of China; specifically, a member or members of the principal indigenous race of China proper, as distinguished from other Mongoloids, such as the Manchus, the present ruling race in the Chinese empire.
  • noun The language of China.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to China; peculiar to China.
  • adjective See India paper, under India.
  • adjective a snowy-white, waxlike substance brought from China. It is the bleached secretion of certain insects of the family Coccidæ especially Coccus Sinensis.
  • noun A native or natives of China, or one of that yellow race with oblique eyelids who live principally in China.
  • noun The language of China, which is monosyllabic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun Any language spoken in China, especially Literary Chinese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Wu, or Min Nan.
  • proper noun The class of Sino-Tibetan dialects including Mandarin, Wu, Cantonese, Min Nan and others.
  • proper noun The logographic writing system shared by this language family.
  • proper noun Mandarin: the official language of the People's Republic of China
  • noun uncountable The people of China.
  • noun uncountable All people of Chinese descent or self-identity
  • noun countable A person from China or of Chinese descent.
  • noun Chinese food or meal.
  • adjective Of China, its languages or people
  • adjective Unexpected, as used in the phrases Chinese whispers, Chinese burn, Chinese auction.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective of or relating to or characteristic of the island republic on Taiwan or its residents or their language
  • noun a native or inhabitant of Communist China or of Nationalist China
  • adjective of or pertaining to China or its peoples or cultures
  • noun 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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From China +‎ -ese.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word Chinese.


  • CHINESE ACROBATS Dazzling acrobatic stunts and feats of balance, flexibility, coordination and strength are blended with information about Chinese culture, customs and history. 10: 30 a.m. Harmony Hall Regional Center, 10701 Livingston Rd.,

    Going Out Guide: Events in Prince George's County & Southern Maryland, May 6-12 2010

  • Most Chinese food in America ­remains a commercial and cultural hybrid — but despite the siege by General Tso, the task of finding outstanding ­Chinese food in the U.S. is becoming easier and easier.

    Gastronomy: ‘Chop Suey’ 2009

  • Other problems have recently emerged now that we live in more progressive times–many chinese Canadians are seeking restitution over the discriminatory “head tax” that Chinese immigrants had to pay in the early 1900s.

    Ann Aguirre » Blog Archive » race relations 2007

  • HU JINTAO, CHINESE PRESIDENT (through translator): Taiwan is an alienable part of Chinese territory.

    CNN Transcript Apr 20, 2006 2006

  • YANG LIWEI, CHINESE ASTRONAUT (translated): This mission has achieved the millennium dream of the Chinese people to fly in space, and I am very proud of this accomplishment.

    CNN Transcript Sep 25, 2006 2006

  • KANG LANGYI, CHINESE INTERNET USER (through translator): More and more Chinese people are using the Internet.

    CNN Transcript Dec 3, 2005 2005

  • CHEN CI, CHINESE GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL: The U.S. government has already said "very sorry" to the Chinese people.

    CNN Transcript Apr 11, 2001 2001

  • Some of these regimes eventually retreated back to the north, and some adapted better to Chinese sedentary lifestyles (e.g., the Northern Wei) and even contributed to future “Chinese” civilization.

    420-479 2001

  • On the Chinese affair, consult Mrs. M.E. B.S. Coolidge, _Chinese Immigration_ (1909).

    The United States Since the Civil War Charles Ramsdell Lingley

  • THE CHINESE LANTERN: Pleasantly effective scenes in a Chinese studio.

    The Atlantic Book of Modern Plays Eugene O'Neill 1920


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.