[ kuhn-fyoo-shuhs ]

  1. Kǔng Qiū, 551? b.c.–478? b.c., Chinese philosopher and teacher.

Origin of Confucius

First recorded in 1770–80; Latinization of Chinese Kǔng Fūzǐ “Master Kung” (birth name Kǔng Qiū ) by European Jesuits in China in the 17th century

Words Nearby Confucius Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Confucius in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Confucius


/ (kənˈfjuːʃəs) /

  1. Chinese name Kong Zi or K'ung Fu-tse. 551–479 bc, Chinese philosopher and teacher of ethics (see Confucianism). His doctrines were compiled after his death under the title The Analects of Confucius

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

Cultural definitions for Confucius


A Chinese philosopher of the sixth century b.c.; the founder of Confucianism. His teachings have come down to us as a collection of short sayings.

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