mandarin

[man-duh-rin]
noun
1.
(in the Chinese Empire) a member of any of the nine ranks of public officials, each distinguished by a particular kind of button worn on the cap.
2.
(initial capital letter) the standard Chinese language.
3.
(initial capital letter) a northern Chinese dialect, especially as spoken in and around Beijing.
4.
a small, spiny citrus tree, Citrus reticulata, native to China, bearing lance-shaped leaves and flattish, orange-yellow to deep-orange loose-skinned fruit, some varieties of which are called tangerines.
5.
any of several plants belonging to the genus Disporum or Streptopus, of the lily family, as S. roseus (rose mandarin) or D. lanuginosum (yellow mandarin) having drooping flowers and red berries.
6.
an influential or powerful government official or bureaucrat.
7.
a member of an elite or powerful group or class, as in intellectual or cultural milieus: the mandarins of the art world.
adjective
8.
of or pertaining to a mandarin or mandarins.
9.
elegantly refined, as in language or taste.

Origin:
1580–90; < Portuguese mandarim, alteration (by association with mandar to order) of Malay məntəri < Hindi mantrī, Sanskrit mantrin councilor

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
mandarin (ˈmændərɪn)
 
n
1.  (in the Chinese Empire) a member of any of the nine senior grades of the bureaucracy, entered by examinations
2.  a high-ranking official whose powers are extensive and thought to be outside political control
3.  a person of standing and influence, as in literary or intellectual circles
4.  a.  a small citrus tree, Citrus nobilis, cultivated for its edible fruit
 b.  the fruit of this tree, resembling the tangerine
 
[C16: from Portuguese mandarim, via Malay menteri from Sanskrit mantrin counsellor, from mantra counsel]
 
'mandarinate
 
n

Mandarin Chinese or Mandarin
 
n
Chinese See also Pekingese the official language of China since 1917; the form of Chinese spoken by about two thirds of the population and taught in schools throughout China
 
Mandarin or Mandarin
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

mandarin
"Chinese official," 1589, via Port. mandarim or Du. mandorijn from Malay mantri, from Hindi mantri "councilor, minister of state," from Skt. mantri, nom. of mantrin- "advisor," from mantra "counsel," from PIE base *men- "to think" (see mind). Form infl. in Port. by mandar "to
command, order." Used generically for the several grades of Chinese officials; sense of "chief dialect of Chinese" (spoken by officials and educated people) is from 1604. The type of small, deep-colored orange so called from 1771, from resemblance of its color to that of robes worn by mandarins.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
His characteristically coded speech had all the marks of the consummate mandarin.
The styling of this jacket's body is trim and elegant, featuring princess seams as well as a mandarin collar.
Phyllis had carried mandarin oranges as a treat to help the team's morale during the challenging parts of the climb.
The sweet mandarin and peach flavors of the wine echo the sweetness of the coconut milk in the sauce.
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