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taipan

1

[ tahy-pan ]

noun

  1. (in China) the head or owner of a foreign business establishment.


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).

taipan

1

/ ˈtaɪˌpæn /

noun

  1. the foreign head of a business in China


taipan

2

/ ˈtaɪˌpæn /

noun

  1. a large highly venomous elapid snake, Oxyuranus scutellatus, of NE Australia
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Word History and Origins

Origin of taipan1

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

Origin of taipan2

First recorded in 1930–35; from Wik-Munkan (an Australian Aboriginal language spoken around the Archer River, northern Queensland), recorded as tay-pan
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Word History and Origins

Origin of taipan1

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

Origin of taipan2

C20: from a native Australian language
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Example Sentences

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

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

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