yu·​an | \ ˈyü-ən How to pronounce yuan (audio) , yü-ˈän How to pronounce yuan (audio) \
plural yuan

Definition of yuan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 the basic monetary unit of the People's Republic of China — see Money Table — compare renminbi
2 : the dollar of the Republic of China (Taiwan)


geographical name
Yu·​an | \ ˈywen How to pronounce Yuan (audio) , ˈywän\

Definition of Yuan (Entry 2 of 2)

1 river 500 miles (805 kilometers) long in southeast central China flowing from Guizhou northeast to northeastern Hunan
2 — see red sense 4

Examples of yuan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The exception was 2016, when the box office grew less than 4% as a result of a large depreciation of the yuan against the dollar that year. Julie Wernau, WSJ, "Smaller Movies Finding Big Problems in China," 3 Dec. 2018 Carlos Lopes, a former executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, advocates tying the CFA franc to a basket of currencies, such as the dollar and yuan. The Economist, "Franc exchangeFrancophone Africa’s CFA franc is under fire," 25 Jan. 2018 Steven Englander, Head: Research and Strategy, Rafiki Capital Management, joined Bryan Curtis and Paul Allen to discuss China’s economy, the yuan and the rethink on treasuries. Bloomberg.com, "Good Growth Means Policy Makers Unlikely to Rock The Boat," 15 Jan. 2018 The Bank of China has pledged at least 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) to create a massive giant panda conservation park in southwestern Sichuan province, the forestry ministry said Thursday. Fox News, "China to build massive $1.5 billion panda conservation area," 8 Mar. 2018 China is said to be evaluating the potential impact of gradual depreciation of the yuan as one potential option. Andrew J Barden, Bloomberg.com, "The Mystery Strike on Syria No One Will Claim," 9 Apr. 2018 Also crucial to China’s defence of the yuan was an economic rebound. The Economist, "Stable handsHow China won the battle of the yuan," 11 Jan. 2018 Some analysts say China’s central bank now has an incentive to support the yuan. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Yuan Wins Temporary Reprieve on Tariff Time-Out," 4 Dec. 2018 Chinese borrowers have been the most active among developing markets, but 95 percent of corporate bonds in China are issued in yuan, minimizing the financial dangers, according to McKinsey. David J. Lynch, The Seattle Times, "Global debt soars, along with fears of crisis ahead," 4 Sep. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of yuan


1917, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for yuan


Chinese (Beijing) yuán

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about yuan

Statistics for yuan

Last Updated

2 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for yuan

The first known use of yuan was in 1917

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for yuan



English Language Learners Definition of yuan

: the basic unit of money in China also : a coin or bill worth one yuan

More from Merriam-Webster on yuan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yuan

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yuan

Comments on yuan

What made you want to look up yuan? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that collects or salvages junk

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!