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 central bank’s move to set the Chinese yuan freer spooked the public further. Lingling Wei, WSJ, "China’s Xi Ramps Up Control of Private Sector. ‘We Have No Choice but to Follow the Party.’," 10 Dec. 2020 Yellen — Bloomberg reports U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will decline to label China a currency manipulator, pushing the value of the yuan up 0.2% against the dollar—although the offshore currency remains 0.7% weaker overall in 2021. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "After cutting Jack Ma down to size, who will Beijing target next?," 13 Apr. 2021 Researchers at investment bank Nomura recently suggested that if the yuan were to strengthen further and to hold at around 6 to the dollar, the U.S. economy would be eclipsed by the Chinese economy by 2026. Mike Bird, WSJ, "China’s Economy Overtaking the U.S. Will Be Harder Than It Looks," 25 Jan. 2021 Rooms at the polar bear hotel cost between 1,888 and 2,288 yuan, the equivalent to roughly $290 to $352 a night. Washington Post, "China’s newest attraction, a hotel with live polar bears, is already fully booked," 18 Mar. 2021 The latest: After years of preparation, the country began rolling out an ambitious test of a digital version of the yuan earlier this year. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "This trade data is good news," 7 Dec. 2020 Making the system less opaque, and more reflective of market prices, could boost the yuan’s appeal to investors. Chong Koh Ping, WSJ, "China Gives Market More Say in Setting Yuan’s Value," 28 Oct. 2020 After joining the lottery through the social media app WeChat, Ms. Huang, 28, a business strategist in Shenzhen, received a digital envelope with 200 electronic Chinese yuan, or eCNY, worth around $30. New York Times, "China Charges Ahead With a National Digital Currency," 1 Mar. 2021 Analysts at China Merchants Securities expect more than 1 trillion yuan of funds to flow into A shares via mutual funds and overseas investors. Bloomberg.com, "China Stocks Face $722 Billion Overhang as Share Lockups End," 8 Dec. 2020

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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Yuan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/yuan. Accessed 9 May. 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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