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1

mandarin

play
noun man·da·rin \ˈman-d(ə-)rən\

Simple Definition of mandarin

  • : a small type of orange

  • : a public official in China in the past

  • Mandarin : the official language of China

Full Definition of mandarin

  1. 1 a :  a public official in the Chinese Empire of any of nine superior grades b (1) :  a pedantic official (2) :  bureaucrat c :  a person of position and influence often in intellectual or literary circles; especially :  an elder and often traditionalist or reactionary member of such a circle

  2. 2 capitalized a :  a form of spoken Chinese used by the court and the official classes of the Empire b :  the group of closely related Chinese dialects that are spoken in about four fifths of the country and have a standard variety centering about Beijing

  3. 3 [Swedish mandarin (apelsin) mandarin (orange), ultimately from Portuguese mandarim mandarin; perhaps from the color of a mandarin's robes] a :  a small spiny orange tree (Citrus reticulata) of southeastern Asia with yellow to reddish-orange loose-rinded fruits; also :  a tree (as the satsuma) developed in cultivation from the mandarin by artificial selection or hybridization b :  the fruit of a mandarin

man·da·rin·ic play \ˌman-də-ˈri-nik\ adjective
man·da·rin·ism play \ˈman-d(ə-)rə-ˌni-zəm\ noun

Examples of mandarin

  1. <the officious mandarins in the motor vehicles department refused to let me renew my license without all of the required forms>



Origin of mandarin

Portuguese mandarim, from Malay mĕntĕri, from Sanskrit mantrin counselor, from mantra counsel — more at mantra


First Known Use: 1589

Other Language Terms


2

mandarin

adjective man·da·rin

Definition of mandarin

  1. 1 :  of, relating to, or typical of a mandarin <mandarin graces>

  2. 2 :  marked by polished ornate complexity of language <mandarin prose>



1604

First Known Use of mandarin

1604



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