taipan

1
[tahy-pan]

Origin of taipan

1
1895–1900; < dialectal Chinese (compare Guangdong dial. daaih-bāan), akin to Chinese dàbǎn ( great + bǎn company, class)

taipan

2
[tahy-pan]
noun
  1. a highly venomous elapid snake, Oxyuranus scutellatus, of New Guinea and northern Australia, that grows to a length of from 10 to 12 feet (3.1 to 3.7 meters).

Origin of taipan

2
1930–35; < Wik-Munkan (Australian Aboriginal language spoken around the Archer River, N Queensland), recorded as tay-pan
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for taipan

Historical Examples of taipan

  • I sought a Taipan, which means the head of an English trading firm.

    From Sea to Sea

    Rudyard Kipling

  • He was the biggest Taipan on the island, and quite the nicest.

    From Sea to Sea

    Rudyard Kipling


British Dictionary definitions for taipan

taipan

1
noun
  1. a large highly venomous elapid snake, Oxyuranus scutellatus, of NE Australia

Word Origin for taipan

C20: from a native Australian language

taipan

2
noun
  1. the foreign head of a business in China

Word Origin for taipan

C19: from dialectal form of Chinese tai great + ban company, class
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