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noun (1)

: a powerful businessman and especially formerly a foreigner living and operating in Hong Kong or China


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noun (2)

tai·​pan ˈtī-ˌpan How to pronounce taipan (audio)
: an exceedingly venomous elapid snake (Oxyuranus scutellatus) of northern Australia and New Guinea
also : a related snake (O. microlepidotus)

Examples of taipan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Another version of the story has Jardine Matheson's taipan being greeted by a 21-gun salute, to the horror of the local military who reserve that tradition for high ranking officers. CNN, 8 June 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'taipan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

Chinese (Guangdong) daaih-bāan, from daaih big + bāan class

Noun (2)

Wik Munkan (Australian aboriginal language of northern Queensland) dhayban

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1834, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1933, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of taipan was in 1834

Dictionary Entries Near taipan

Cite this Entry

“Taipan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/taipan. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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