[ vee-et-nah-meez, -mees, -nuh-, vyet-, vee-it- ]


  1. of or relating to Vietnam or its inhabitants.


, plural Vi·et·nam·ese.
  1. Formerly Annamese,. the Austroasiatic language of Vietnam.
  2. Sometimes Offensive. a native or inhabitant of Vietnam. the current entry.

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Sensitive Note

Some words that describe national or ethnic identities are acceptable as plural nouns, but are either rare or offensive in the singular. This is the case for Vietnamese. It’s sometimes acceptable as a plural noun (a candidate favored by Vietnamese ). However, it's sometimes offensive as a singular noun (the candidate who is a Vietnamese ). Such words are always perfectly appropriate as adjectives (strategies to get Vietnamese voters to the polls).

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Other Words From

  • an·ti-Vi·et·nam·ese adjective noun plural antiVietnamese
  • pro-Vi·et·nam·ese adjective noun plural proVietnamese

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Word History and Origins

Origin of Vietnamese1

First recorded in 1945–50; Vietnam + -ese

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Example Sentences

In Vietnam, Lewis was advisor to a Vietnamese infantry unit, whose nickname for him was “Captain of Many Kilos.”

Wahlberg fled from the scene and approached a bystander, Hoa Trinh, also Vietnamese.

On October 26 they were assigned to attack a power plant supplying the North Vietnamese capital, Hanoi.

He had learned Vietnamese while performing alternative military service in the Mekong Delta.

“People knew my mom was Vietnamese [so] we could have been stopped,” she says.

There's a native restaurant there, run by a former Vietnamese.

The Vietnamese food was really good, and the family who ran the restaurant greeted Kurt like an old friend.

For 20 days now we and our Vietnamese allies have dropped no bombs in North Vietnam.

The North Vietnamese know that they cannot achieve their aggressive purposes by force.

Soviet-supported Vietnamese aggression in Indo-china has posed a major challenge to regional stability.