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

  • noun Any of various units of weight used in southeast Asia and China and equal to 100 catties, especially a Chinese unit equal to 133 1/3 pounds (about 60 kilograms).

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A weight in use in China and the East generally, containing 100 kin or catties, and equal to about 133⅛ pounds avoirdupois. By the Chinese it is called tan.

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

  • noun A commercial weight varying in different countries and for different commodities. In Borneo it is 1355/8 lbs.; in China and Sumatra, 1331/2 lbs.; in Japan, 1331/3 lbs.; but sometimes 130 lbs., etc. Called also, by the Chinese, tan.

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

  • noun A traditional Asian unit of weight, as much as a man can carry on a shoulder-pole.

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

  • noun a unit of weight used in some parts of Asia; approximately equal to 133 pounds (the load a grown man can carry)


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

[Malay pikul, to carry the heaviest load a man can carry.]



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  • A Siamese can count his tical;

    A Chinese chap can gauge a picul.

    Scots too can be picky

    But after some whiskey

    Content with their "wee" and their "mickle."

    July 14, 2015

  • "One wood slip, dated 330, reports that the Sogdians, traders originally from the Samarkand region, presented ten thousand piculs (each picul was approximately 1/2 bushel, or 20 L) of something (the word is missing), most likely of grain, and two hundred coins (qian) to the authorities."

    --Valerie Hansen, The Silk Road: A New History (Oxford and New York: Oxford UP, 2012), 43

    December 30, 2016