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Cantonese

[kan-tn-eez, -ees]
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noun, plural Can·ton·ese.
  1. a Chinese language spoken in Canton, the surrounding area of southern China, and Hong Kong.
  2. a native or inhabitant of Canton, China.
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adjective
  1. pertaining to Canton, China, its inhabitants, or their language.
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Origin of Cantonese

First recorded in 1855–60; Canton + -ese
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cantonese

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • They know us by the Cantonese laundrymen, the class which ranks with their lowest classes.

  • Our lower classes, "coolies" from the Cantonese districts, have flocked to America.

  • A Shanghai man, for instance, is unintelligible to a Cantonese, and so on.

  • She wore Manchu dress, which puzzled us, as she is Cantonese.

    Intimate China

    Mrs. Archibald Little

  • My followers were only six in number—W—— and the five Cantonese.


British Dictionary definitions for cantonese

Cantonese

noun
  1. the Chinese language spoken in the city of Canton, Guangdong and Guanxi provinces, Hong Kong, and elsewhere outside China
  2. plural -ese a native or inhabitant of the city of Canton or Guangdong province
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adjective
  1. of or relating to the city of Canton, Guangdong province, or the Chinese language spoken there
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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

Word Origin and History for cantonese

Cantonese

n.

1816, from Canton, former transliteration of the name of the Chinese region now known in English as Guangzhou. The older name is from the former British-run, Hong Kong-based Chinese postal system. As an adjective from 1840.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper