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[ka-they] /kæˈθeɪ/
noun, Literary or Archaic.
Origin of Cathay
< Medieval Latin Cat(h)aya < Turkic; compare Tatar Kïtai Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Cathay
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Yet if she did, he was sure that it would have been impossible not to use them in defense of the colony of Cathay.

    Victory Lester del Rey
  • If one of those titans was to be used against Cathay, Earth's colony was doomed.

    Victory Lester del Rey
  • We're registered here as a recruiting ship for Cathay, so it's no secret.

    Victory Lester del Rey
  • The humans of Cathay might try a return raid, but he was unworried.

    Victory Lester del Rey
  • Cathay couldn't maintain the big ship, and it was practically useless.

    Victory Lester del Rey
  • He leaned back in his chair, wondering where “Cathay” might be.

  • At last the game was won, the passage to Cathay was discovered.

  • But now the Great Khan is building a city in the land of Cathay.

British Dictionary definitions for Cathay


a literary or archaic name for China
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin Cataya, of Turkic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Cathay

1560s, poetic name for "China," from Medieval Latin Cataya, from Turkish Khitai, from Uighur Khitai, name of a Tatar dynasty that ruled Beijing 936-1122.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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