mah-jongg

[mah-jawng, -jong, -zhawng, -zhong]
noun
1.
a game of Chinese origin usually played by four persons with 144 dominolike pieces or tiles marked in suits, counters, and dice, the object being to build a winning combination of pieces.
verb (used without object)
2.
to win a game of mah-jongg.
Also, mah-jong.


Origin:
1920–25; < dialectal Chinese; compare Guangdong dial. màh-jéuk, Chinese máquè literally, sparrow (depicted on the first tile of a set), equivalent to hemp + què bird

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mah-jongg
1922, from dial. Chinese (Shanghai) ma chiang, name of the game, lit. "sparrows," from ma "hemp" + chaing "little birds." The game so called from the design of the pieces. It had a vogue in Europe in the 1920s and for a time threatened to supplant bridge in popularity.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for mahjong
Mahjong involves skill, strategy, and calculation, as well as a certain degree of chance.
This is the first known written account of mahjong in any language other than chinese.
Hong kong movies have often included scenes of mahjong games.
Mahjong tiles are split into these categories suits, honor and flowers.
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