- (in China) the head or owner of a foreign business establishment.
Origin of taipan1
1895–1900; < dialectal Chinese (compare Guangdong dial. daaih-bāan), akin to Chinese dàbǎn (dà great + bǎn company, class)
- a highly venomous elapid snake, Oxyuranus scutellatus, of New Guinea and northern Australia, that grows to a length of from 10 to 12 feet (3.1 to 3.7 meters).
Origin of taipan2
1930–35; < Wik-Munkan (Australian Aboriginal language spoken around the Archer River, N Queensland), recorded as tay-pan
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for taipan
He was the biggest Taipan on the island, and quite the nicest.
I sought a Taipan, which means the head of an English trading firm.
- a large highly venomous elapid snake, Oxyuranus scutellatus, of NE Australia
C20: from a native Australian language
- the foreign head of a business in China
C19: from dialectal form of Chinese tai great + ban company, class
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