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taipan1

[tahy-pan] /ˈtaɪ pæn/
noun
1.
(in China) the head or owner of a foreign business establishment.
Origin of taipan1
dialectal Chinese
1895-1900
1895-1900; < dialectal Chinese (compare Guangdong dial. daaih-bāan), akin to Chinese dàbǎn ( great + bǎn company, class)

taipan2

[tahy-pan] /ˈtaɪ pæn/
noun
1.
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
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 Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for taipan
Historical Examples
  • I sought a taipan, which means the head of an English trading firm.

    From Sea to Sea Rudyard Kipling
  • He was the biggest taipan on the island, and quite the nicest.

    From Sea to Sea Rudyard Kipling
British Dictionary definitions for taipan

taipan1

/ˈtaɪˌpæn/
noun
1.
a large highly venomous elapid snake, Oxyuranus scutellatus, of NE Australia
Word Origin
C20: from a native Australian language

taipan2

/ˈtaɪˌpæn/
noun
1.
the foreign head of a business in China
Word Origin
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
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