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[yah-muh n] /ˈyɑ mən/
(in the Chinese Empire) the residence or office of a public official.
Origin of yamen
1820-30; < Chinese yámen ( office + mén gate) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for yamen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The yamen is surrounded by an extensive park, in which is some good timber.


    Sir Henry Arthur Blake
  • The social side of the life of a Chinese mandarin is not confined to his own yamen.


    Sir Henry Arthur Blake
  • During the day a secretary arrived from the yamen to interview the Ministers.

    With the Allies to Pekin George Alfred Henty
  • His yamen was built in the usual Chinese style and was 316 surrounded by a wall.

  • So my husband was just starting for the yamen to tell the tale.

    Intimate China Mrs. Archibald Little
  • If a man is beaten in the yamen, he can get over it in a fortnight.

    Intimate China Mrs. Archibald Little
  • All the members of the yamen were present; I was received with all respect as their guest.

    Intimate China Mrs. Archibald Little
  • I caught him trying to open the yamen gate to the Chinese rebels.

British Dictionary definitions for yamen


(in imperial China) the office or residence of a public official
Word Origin
C19: from Chinese, from ya general's office + měn gate
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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