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Definition of mandarin

World Factbook

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man·da·rin  audio  (mnd-rn) KEY 

  1. A member of any of the nine ranks of high public officials in the Chinese Empire.
  2. A high government official or bureaucrat.
  3. A member of an elite group, especially a person having influence or high status in intellectual or cultural circles.
  4. Mandarin The official national standard spoken language of China, which is based on the principal dialect spoken in and around Beijing. Also called Guoyu, Putonghua.
  5. A mandarin orange.
  1. Of, relating to, or resembling a mandarin.
  2. Marked by elaborate and refined language or literary style.

From Spanish mandarín, from Portuguese mandarim, from Malay menteri, from Sanskrit mantr, mantrin-, counselor, from mantra, counsel; see men-1 in Indo-European roots

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