noun, often capitalized
pin·​yin | \ ˈpin-ˈyin How to pronounce pinyin (audio) \

Definition of pinyin

: a system for romanizing Chinese ideograms in which tones are indicated by diacritics and unaspirated consonants are transcribed as voiced — compare wade-giles

Examples of pinyin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The most common method used pinyin, the system of romanized spelling for Mandarin that Chinese students learn in school. Mara Hvistendahl, Wired, "How a Chinese AI Giant Made Chatting—and Surveillance—Easy," 18 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pinyin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of pinyin

1963, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pinyin

Chinese (Beijing) pīnyīn to spell phonetically, from pīn to arrange + yīn sound, pronunciation

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Time Traveler for pinyin

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The first known use of pinyin was in 1963

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Cite this Entry

“Pinyin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2020.

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