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

Hong Kong maintains its own currency separate from the mainland yuan. Doug Criss, CNN, "The unique reasons why millions in Hong Kong are protesting," 1 July 2019 So has slow but steady growth in the North’s domestic economy, helped along by a swelling sector of entrepreneurs who have savings in foreign currencies like the U.S. dollar and Chinese yuan. Washington Post, "North Korea’s construction boom may build more than skyline," 12 Apr. 2018 Lately, with the yuan on the rise again, hints have come that regulators will ease up on controls. Bloomberg.com, "Yuan to Still Take Backseat to Yen by 2027: Morgan Stanley," 12 Mar. 2018 The damage there is only beginning to be calculated but according to one recent estimate, the southwestern province of Yunnan alone is already facing at least 200 million yuan ($29 million) in losses (link in Chinese). Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, "Ravenous armyworms are eating their way across China," 20 June 2019 The president has fixated on what the euro and Chinese yuan are doing relative to the United States dollar — and how monetary policy at home and abroad fits in. Jeanna Smialek, New York Times, "Trump Accuses Europe of Bolstering Its Economy at America’s Expense," 18 June 2019 In the first grants under the new policy, China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in May 2018 awarded 22 million Chinese yuan ($3.2 million) to 22 Hong Kong research groups. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Hong Kong researchers forge ties with mainland China even as protesters fight for autonomy," 18 June 2019 Weak growth and shaky banks are, for now, more urgent problems than a falling yuan and mounting debt. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "Juice for China’s Economy Is Coming," 14 June 2019 Investors can bet on the performance of all sorts of things — corporations like McDonald's and Netflix, commodities such as gold and oil, currency like the American dollar and Chinese yuan, even the weather. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Dueling Lawsuits Filed Over a Stock Exchange for Hollywood Movies," 7 June 2019

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

9 Jul 2019

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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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