yu·​an | \ˈyü-ən, yü-ˈän \
plural yuan

Definition of yuan 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 the basic monetary unit of China — see Money Table

2 : the dollar of the Republic of China (Taiwan)


geographical name
Yu·​an | \ˈywen, 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 yuan, also known as the renminbi, has been slipping steadily against the dollar since April. WSJ, "Strong Dollar Hits China’s Foreign-Exchange Reserves," 7 Nov. 2018 Reuters reports that a Chinese state media outlet said some losses were as high as 2,000 yuan, or about $290 USD. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Thieves are using Apple IDs to steal money, Chinese payment firms say," 11 Oct. 2018 To control these increases, the PBOC began issuing bonds to the banks in 2002, absorbing excess yuan. John Greenwood, WSJ, "How China Copes With Capital Flight," 19 Nov. 2018 The yuan has been declining against the dollar, which some investors fear could add to trade tensions with Washington. Shen Hong, WSJ, "When China and U.S. Fight Over Trade, European Stocks Get Hurt," 26 June 2018 They have been accused of illegally raising more than 60bn yuan ($9.5bn), using money deposited by new investors to pay long-standing ones. The Economist, "Politics this week," 26 Apr. 2018 As China also bypasses the U.S. as the world’s largest oil importer, Saudi Arabia (a top 15 holder) is also being paid in yuan instead of dollars, and therefore has less reason to buy U.S. Treasuries. Daniel J. Arbess, Fortune, "Commentary: The Economy Looks Good Today, But the Next Debt Crisis Is on the Horizon," 28 Feb. 2018 The yuan also dropped to its lowest point in 11 years. Danielle Paquette, Washington Post, "China tells the U.S. to stop hurting itself in the trade war," 11 July 2018 In 2014 and 2015, when the yuan weakened 7.3 percent, Sa Sa shares plunged 71 percent. Fortune, "China's Sliding Yuan Is Bad News for These Companies," 28 June 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.

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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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Statistics for yuan

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for yuan

The first known use of yuan was in 1917

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with yuan

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about yuan

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