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

  • noun A member of any of the nine ranks of high public officials in the Chinese Empire.
  • noun A high government official or bureaucrat.
  • noun A member of an elite group, especially a person having influence or high status in intellectual or cultural circles.
  • noun A mandarin orange.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or resembling a mandarin.
  • adjective Marked by elaborate and refined language or literary style.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In dyeing, to give an orange-color to, as silk or other stuffs made of animal fiber, not by means of a solution of coloring matter, but by the action of dilute nitric acid. The orange-color is produced by a partial decomposition of the surface of the fiber by the acid.
  • noun Any Chinese official, civil or military, who wears a. button. (See button, 3.) The Chinese equivalent is kwan, which means simply ‘public servant.’
  • noun [capitalized] The form of Chinese spoken (with slight variations) in the northern, central, and western provinces of China, as well as Manchuria, and by officials and educated persons all over the empire, as distinguished from the local dialects spoken chiefly in the southern provinces, and form the book-language, which appeals only to the eye.
  • noun in ornithology, the mandarin duck (which see, under duck).
  • noun A piece of mandarin porcelain.
  • noun A coal-tar color used in dyeing, produced from beta-naphthol. It dyes a bright reddish-orange shade. Also called tropœlin and orange No. 2.
  • Pertaining or suitable to a mandarin or to mandarins; hence, of exalted character or quality; superior; noble; fine.
  • noun Same as mandarin orange (which see, under orange).

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

  • noun A Chinese public officer or nobleman; a civil or military official in China and Annam.
  • noun A powerful government official or bureaucrat, especially one who is pedantic and has a strong sense of his own importance and privelege.
  • noun A member of an influential, powerful or elite group, espcially within artistic or intellectual circles; -- used especially of elder members who are traditionalist or conservative about their specialties.
  • noun The form of the Chinese language spoken by members of the Chinese Imperial Court an officials of the empire.
  • noun Any of several closely related dialects of the Chinese language spoken by a mojority of the population of China, the standard variety of which is spoken in the region around Beijing.
  • noun (Bot.) A small flattish reddish-orange loose-skinned orange, with an easily separable rind. It is thought to be of Chinese origin, and is counted a distinct species (Citrus reticulata formerly Citrus nobilis); called also mandarin orange and tangerine.
  • noun the spoken or colloquial language of educated people in China.
  • noun (Chem.) an artificial aniline dyestuff used for coloring silk and wool, and regarded as a complex derivative of quinoline.

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

  • noun A mandarin orange; a small, sweet citrus fruit.
  • noun A mandarin orange tree.
  • noun An orange colour.
  • noun historical A high government bureaucrat of the Chinese Empire.
  • noun A pedantic or elitist bureaucrat.
  • noun often pejorative A pedantic senior person of influence in academia or literary circles.
  • noun A mandarin duck.
  • noun informal, UK A senior civil servant.
  • adjective Pertaining to mandarins.
  • adjective Deliberately superior or complex; esoteric, elaborate.

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

  • noun a member of an elite intellectual or cultural group
  • noun a somewhat flat reddish-orange loose skinned citrus of China
  • noun any high government official or bureaucrat
  • noun a high public official of imperial China
  • noun shrub or small tree having flattened globose fruit with very sweet aromatic pulp and thin yellow-orange to flame-orange rind that is loose and easily removed; native to southeastern Asia
  • noun the dialect of Chinese spoken in Beijing and adopted as the official language for all of China


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Spanish mandarín, from Portuguese mandarim, from Malay menteri, from Sanskrit mantrī, mantrin-, counselor, from mantraḥ, counsel; see men- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French mandarine, feminine of mandarin, probably formed as Etymology 1, above, from the yellow colour of the mandarins' costume.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Dutch mandorijn or Portuguese mandarim, mandarij, from Malay menteri, manteri, from Hindi mantri, from Sanskrit मन्त्रिन् (mantrin, "minister, councillor"), from मन्त्र (mantra, "counsel, maxim, mantra") + -इन् (-in, "an agent suffix").


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  • = Man(chu) big man (from Chinese)

    January 23, 2007