• Mandarin


    • British IPA: /ˈmæn.dər.ɪn/
    • US IPA: /ˈmæn.dɚ.ɪn/
    • Hyphenation: man + da + rin

    Origin 1

    From Dutch mandorijn or Portuguese mandarim, mandarij, from Malay menteri, manteri, from Hindi मन्त्रि, from Sanskrit मन्त्रिन् (mantrin, "minister, councillor"), from मन्त्र (mantra, "counsel, maxim, mantra") + -इन् (-in, "an agent suffix").

    Full definition of mandarin



    (plural mandarins)
    1. (historical) A high government bureaucrat of the Chinese Empire.
    2. A pedantic or elitist bureaucrat.
    3. (often pejorative) A pedantic senior person of influence in academia or literary circles.
    4. A mandarin duck.
    5. (informal, British) A senior civil servant.



    1. Pertaining to mandarins.
    2. Deliberately superior or complex; esoteric, elaborate.
      • 2007: Though alert to riddles' strong roots in vernacular narrative, Cook's tastes are mandarin, and she gives a loving account of Wallace Stevens's meditations on the life of poetic images and simile — Marina Warner, ‘Doubly Damned’, London Review of Books 29:3, p. 26

    Origin 2

    From French mandarine, feminine of mandarin, probably formed as Etymology 1, above, from the yellow colour of the mandarins' costume.



    (plural mandarins)
    1. A mandarin orange; a small, sweet citrus fruit.
    2. A mandarin orange tree, Citrus reticulata.
    3. An orange colour.


    © Wiktionary