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[yin] /yɪn/
See under yin and yang.
Origin of yin1
First recorded in 1890-95


[yin] /yɪn/
adjective, noun, pronoun, Scot.


[yin] /yɪn/

yin and yang

noun, (used with a singular or plural verb)
(in Chinese philosophy and religion) two principles, one negative, dark, and feminine (yin) and one positive, bright, and masculine (yang) whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things.
First recorded in 1930-35, yin and yang is from the Chinese word yīn-yáng Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for yin
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I can speak of the manners of yin; but as proof of them Sung is not enough.

  • Kinsmen of the tyrant Chou Hsin, who brought the house of yin to an end.

  • And there was yin with her—the foreign lady with the lang name.

    The Northern Iron George A. Birmingham
  • There's naething wrang wi' Fintry; mony a yin I've sent there.

    Erchie (AKA Hugh Foulis) Neil Munro
  • There's yin thing sure—it's no' a case o' wife-desertion, for Jinnet's wi' him.

    Erchie (AKA Hugh Foulis) Neil Munro
British Dictionary definitions for yin


determiner, pronoun, noun
a Scot word for one

Yin and Yang

two complementary principles of Chinese philosophy: Yin is negative, dark, and feminine, Yang positive, bright, and masculine. Their interaction is thought to maintain the harmony of the universe and to influence everything within it
Word Origin
from Chinese (Peking) yin dark + yang bright
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 yin

1670s, from Chinese (Mandarin) "female, night, lunar."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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yin in Culture

yin and yang definition

Two forces in the universe, according to a Chinese theory: yin is the passive, negative force, and yang the active, positive force. According to this theory, wise people will detect these forces in the seasons, in their food, and so on, and will regulate their lives accordingly.

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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