Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A traditional type of Chinese residence consisting of four houses with a courtyard in the middle; a Chinese quadrangle.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Mandarin 四合院 (sìhéyuàn).

Examples

  • Sharing our siheyuan were my aunts and uncles and a few tenants: the families of a tailor, an electrician, and a clerk.

    Excerpt: Snow Falling in Spring by Moying Li

  • Back in those days, the location of a hutong, formed by the space between the siheyuan (courtyards of homes), was significant: In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), they were organized by social rank; the highest-ranking elite lived closest to the Forbidden City.

    City Walk: Beijing

  • In the summer, pale jasmine opened up at night, filling our siheyuan with its fragrance.

    Excerpt: Snow Falling in Spring by Moying Li

  • "Chinese believe that in a siheyuan you can feel the spirit of the earth because unlike in a high-rise apartment, you step on it every day."

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • The group's current principal interest is documenting life in Beijing's hutongs, traditional-style alleyways flanked by siheyuan (courtyard houses).

    Perspectives from Beijing

  • Some of the siheyuan [courtyard houses] along this Qing Dynasty hutong look fairly modern.

    Interview with Mr. and Mrs. Luo

  • For example, living in a high-rise apartment, you have a bathroom, toilet, and central heating, but living in this kind of one-floor bungalow house [siheyuan, or courtyard house], in a hutong, you don't feel the same way.

    Interview with Matthew Hu Xinyu

  • It's siheyuan -- si means four, he means enclosed, yuan means yard, so it's a four-sided enclosed yard.

    Interview with Yu Meng

  • Also on display at the Beijing Planning Exhibition Hall are wooden models of old-style architecture, such as the Forbidden City and a siheyuan, or traditional courtyard house.

    Interview with Liu Bowen

  • Built about 170 years ago as part of a general's siheyuan

    Rooms With a Past

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