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 selling spilled over into the Hong Kong dollar, offshore yuan and S&P 500 Index futures. Fortune, 20 Sep. 2021 SDRs can be exchanged for US dollars, euros, yen, Chinese yuan and sterling. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 19 Aug. 2021 Stablecoins planted the fear of pockets of digital payments that are anonymous and circumvent the yuan entirely. Jane Li, Quartz, 29 Sep. 2021 The clampdown comes as China's central bank has been testing its own digital currency, the electronic Chinese yuan. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 25 Sep. 2021 The People's Bank of China is developing an electronic version of the country's yuan for cashless transactions that can be tracked and controlled by Beijing. CBS News, 24 Sep. 2021 The clampdown in China comes as the country’s central bank has been testing its own digital currency, the electronic Chinese yuan. New York Times, 24 Sep. 2021 The Federal Reserve—spurred by China's deployment of a digital yuan—is pondering that same aim. Robert Hackett, Fortune, 24 June 2021 China has been pushing forward with its experiment in creating a digital yuan and may give foreign athletes and visitors a chance to use it at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 19 Apr. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of yuan


1917, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for yuan


Chinese (Beijing) yuán

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Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Yuan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yuan. Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yuan


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