yin and yang

[ yinuhn yang ]

noun(used with a singular or plural verb)
  1. (in Chinese philosophy and religion) two principles, one negative, dark, and feminine (yin ), and one positive, bright, and masculine (yang ), whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things.

  2. the yin and yang, the dual and contrasting aspects or principles of a particular field of activity, thought, etc.: The senator spoke at length about the yin and yang of job cuts and job creation.Experiences and equipment are the yin and yang of road tripping.

  1. relating to or based on the two opposing principles in Chinese philosophy and religion, one negative, dark, and feminine (yin), and one positive, bright, and masculine (yang): In the classical Chinese conception of the cosmos, physical entities are simply instantiations of yin and yang energy.She practices traditional yin and yang healing.

  2. being, involving, or encompassing opposite or contrasting elements: This ornament captures yin and yang beauty in shadows formed by light.Yin and yang relationships, like the one between my practical mother and bohemian father, often do well.

Origin of yin and yang

First recorded in 1930–35; from Chinese yīn-yáng

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How to use yin and yang in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Yin and Yang

Yin and Yang

/ (jɪn) /

  1. two complementary principles of Chinese philosophy: Yin is negative, dark, and feminine, Yang positive, bright, and masculine. Their interaction is thought to maintain the harmony of the universe and to influence everything within it

Origin of Yin and Yang

from Chinese (Peking) yin dark + yang bright

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 yin and yang

yin and yang

Two forces in the universe, according to a Chinese theory: yin is the passive, negative force, and yang the active, positive force. According to this theory, wise people will detect these forces in the seasons, in their food, and so on, and will regulate their lives accordingly.

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.