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yellow peril

noun, Disparaging and Offensive.
(in historical contexts) the alleged danger that predominantly white Western civilizations and populations could be overwhelmed by Asian peoples.
the Asian peoples regarded as presenting such a danger.
Also called yellow terror.
Origin of yellow peril
First recorded in 1895-1900
Usage note
See yellow. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for yellow peril
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If we are going to combat the 'yellow peril' we must combine against it.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • When China is a nation, her people will be no longer a "yellow peril."

  • In the first place, the Western world will not permit the rise of the yellow peril.

  • It is possible to talk great nonsense about what is called the "yellow peril."

    The Panama Canal J. Saxon Mills
  • She has no more to do with the so-called "yellow peril" than America has.

    A Fantasy of Far Japan Baron Kencho Suyematsu
  • Where would the “yellow peril” and the “German menace” be then?

    Germany and the Germans Price Collier
  • A dollar looked bigger to me, just then, than a wheel of the yellow peril.

    The Range Dwellers

    B. M. Bower
  • You're discussing my father, whereas I desire to discuss the yellow peril.

    The Pride of Palomar

    Peter B. Kyne
British Dictionary definitions for yellow peril

yellow peril

the power or alleged power of Asiatic peoples, esp the Chinese, to threaten or destroy the supremacy of White or Western civilization
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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yellow peril in Culture

Yellow Peril definition

A supposed threat to the United States posed by Japan and China. The phrase arose in the late nineteenth century, at a time when Japanese and Chinese immigration to America was meeting resistance and when Japan was growing as a military power. (See internment of Japanese Americans.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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