Pleco Chinese Dictionary Instruction Manual : ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary

ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary

ABC 汉语大词典

Editors: John DeFrancis, Zhang Yanyin
Associate Editors: Tom Bishop, Robert M. Sanders, Victor H. Mair, Zhang Liqing, Zhang Yanhua
Editorial Associates: Zhang Yanyin, Cynthia Y. Ning, James E. Dew, Daniel Cole
Computer Associates: Tom Bishop, Robert W. Hsu
Proofreading Associates: Victor H. Mair, Timothy Connor, Denis Mair, E-tu Zen Sun, Zhang Liqing, Yin Binyong, Duan Xiaoping, Xu Wenkan, Li Weiping, Li Ye, Chen Jing, Gu Xiurong

Copyright © 2003-2009 University of Hawai'i Press, All rights reserved


Table of Contents

  1. Dedication
  2. Editor's Call to Action
  3. Acknowledgements
  4. Distinctive Features of the Dictionary
  5. Reader's Guide
    1. Selection and Explication of Entries
    2. Orthography
    3. Explanatory Notes and Examples
    4. Parts of Speech and Other Entry Labels
    5. Free and Bound Characters
    6. Abbreviations
    7. Works Consulted




John DeFrancis
A visionary lexicographer, a perceptive theorist of writing systems, the author of the most widely used textbook series for English speakers learning Mandarin, and, for more than half a century, the foremost historian of Chinese and Vietnamese script reform.


China's Staunchest Advocates of Writing Reform

Lu Zhuangzhang 卢戆章
Pioneer reformer whose publication in 1892 of alphabetic schemes for several varieties of Chinese marked the beginning of Chinese interest in reform of the writing system.

Lu Xun 鲁迅
China's greatest writer of the twentieth century who passionately supported the Latinized New Writing of the 1930s.

Mao Dun (Shen Yanbing) 茅盾
China's foremost novelist and one-time Minister of Culture who in 1962 was the first to call for a policy of “walking on two legs” that involved using two writing systems--the traditional character system and the new pinyin alphabetic system.

Wang Li and Lü Shuxiang 王力 / 吕叔湘
1900-1988 1904-1998
Two of China's most distinguished linguists who have come out strongly for writing reform; the former criticized intellectuals for their opposition to such reform, and the latter criticized lexicographers for their failure to produce dictionaries based on a simple alphabetic arrangement.

Zhou Youguang 周有光
The most prolific and penetrating advocate of writing reform who emphasizes that a “two-script system” or “digraphia” has become an even more essential part of China's modernization if it is to make an efficient entry into the computer age.


Editor's Call to Action

This appeal calls upon users of the ABC Dictionary, and scholars generally in China and abroad, to participate in the broad effort needed to bring about (1) progress in Chinese lexicography (2) planned periodic upgrading of the present work.

In a way, the present effort is premature. It should have been preceded by generally accepted rules for pinyin orthography (e.g., capitalization and joining or separating syllables) and serial arrangement of characters. Instead there is virtual chaos in both these areas, best exemplified by the factious decisions of recent Chinese lexicographers to arrange characters under 186, 188, 189, 191, 225, 226, 242, and 250 radicals.

The advent of computers has increased the need to end this chaos and reach a degree of agreement more or less comparable to that achieved by Western lexicographers in their arrangement of entries and by authors and publishers in their acceptance of a common manual of style.

To be sure, Western practice is by no means completely uniform, and in any case took hundreds of years to evolve. The problems of Chinese written in pinyin are even more complex than those in a language like English, and are not susceptible to quick and easy solutions. Nevertheless, greater effort is possible, and is certainly needed, to work toward the eventual goal of standardization of pinyin orthography.

The present work represents a contribution to this effort. As a pioneering effort it has been forced to grapple with complicated problems that await solution. For example, should the popular category of four-syllable idioms called chéngyǔ be handled on the basis of their phonetic structure, which is overwhelmingly 2+2, or of their grammatical structure, which is a much more complicated matter since most chéngyǔ are of classical origin? Various reference works handle one such idiom as follows:

àn dù chén cāng (five works)
àn dù Chéncāng (Wu Jingrong)
àn-dù-chéncāng (Lin Yutang, changed from Guoyeu Romatzyh to pinyin)
àndù-chéncāng (Hanyu Pinyin Cihui)
àndùchéncāng (Yingyong Hanyu Cidian)

We have chosen simply to write àndùchéncāng (without spaces, hyphens, or capitalization), but we would like to see debate and ultimate consensus in this matter. The same applies to our necessarily tentative handling of other problems, of which the following are a few examples:

Whether numbers and measures shold be joined or separated:

sānběn shū vs. sān běn shū

Whether tonal changes should be indicated:

bǐjiǎo vs. bíjiǎo

Whether preference should be given to colloquial or formal style:

bǐjiǎo/bíjiǎo vs. bǐjiào

Whether components of resultative verbs should be joined or separated:

kànbujiàn vs. kàn bu jiàn

Of course the decisions regarding these and other matters of pinyin orthography should ultimately be made by the Chinese themselves. I hope, however, that Westerners will add to the present effort to raise the issues, will participate in academic discussion of the problems, and will help find reasonable solutions aimed at increasing the efficiency of pinyin as an orthography and as the optimum method of handling characters on computers.

In these efforts it is especially necessary to give support to reform-minded Chinese who, unequivocally rejecting any idea of abandoning characters, insist on the need to modernize Chinese writing through a policy of “digraphia,” that is, literacy both in characters and in pinyin.

Consideration of these issues will also help prepare the way for future revision of the ABC Dictionary. Apart from consideration of rules of orthography such as those noted above, there is need also for help in pointing out specific errors, suggesting terms to be added (preferaby with citation to sources that can be checked), and contributing ideas for improvement.

We welcome corrections, comments, and suggestions. Please address these to

ABC Dictionary Project
Center for Chinese Studies, University of Hawai'i
1890 East-West Road, Moore 417
Honolulu, HI 968221

You may also contact the ABC Dictionary Project directly by e-mailing to

--John DeFrancis



This dictionary has been made possible by the volunteer contributions of numerous individuals, by grants from the US Department of Education and the University of Hawai‘i Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development, and by the generosity of the University of Hawai‘i Center for Chinese Studies through its successive directors Professors Roger T. Ames and Ronald Brown; its associate director Professor Cynthia Y. Ning, who was particularly helpful in arranging for all manner of logistical support; and its coordinator Daniel Tschudi, who helped out in myriad aspects of the Project.

Professor Victor H. Mair, editor of our whole ABC series, made major scholarly contributions that included participation in decision-making, checking the entire material, especially in the final stages, and leading a team involved in the massive task of proofreading (see below).

Tom Bishop, creator of Wenlin Software for Learning Chinese, assisted in every step of the project by providing linguistic expertise and technical implementation for the innumerable tasks involved in producing the dictionary, including addition of complex (traditional) forms of Chinese characters, addition of International Phonetic Alphabet for English pronunciations, creation of new entries, checking and revision of existing entries (for consistency, orthography, parts of speech, grammar, etc.), abridgment, indexing, and the final production of camera-ready copy.

Zhang Liqing, a retired professor from Swarthmore College, made the initial selection of terms for the Chinese-English section, a task that was particularly onerous because it had to be done twice, the initial draft having been lost somewhere in the transition from Pennsylvania to Hawai‘i.

Dr. Zhang Yanhua, a professor at Clemson University, was very helpful in establishing and testing inputting procedures in the initial stage of the dictionary. She was also one of the key figures in setting up the conventions for the English- Chinese part of this dictionary.

A considerable number of Chinese students and others at the University of Hawai‘i helped in a variety of tasks related to the dictionary, such as inputting material, checking, and proofreading. They include O. T. Benson, Chen Xiaohua, Chu Wei, Roderich A. Gammon, He Jinli, Hu Leping, Max P. Hirsch, Huang Ying, Li Yanfeng, Li Xiangping, Lu Caixia, Nie Jiang, Matt Olsen, Pan Linlin, Kimberly M. Sato, Wang Qinghong, Wang Xiaoling, Wang Yanyan, Wu Lei, Yang Decheng, Yang Yide, Zhang Shanshan, and Zhu Kunlun. The proofreading team, led by Victor H. Mair, was assembled from individuals scattered across the world. Among them were the following: Liqing Zhang, Xu Wenkan, Jonathan M. Smith, Paula Roberts, Melvin Lee, Si Jia, Jiajia Wang, Chen Ruyan, Kenneth Yeh, Natalie Liu, Michael Sawer, Linda Li, Mi Yinan, and Endymion Wilkinson.

Many scholars deserve thanks for contributions to the ABC Chinese-English Dictionary and ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary because so much of the present dictionarywas based on those earlier works. They include especially Robert Hsu, James Dew, and Robert Sanders; also Timothy Connor, Denis Mair, E-tu Zen Sun, Yin Binyong, Duan Xiaoping, Li Weiping, Li Ye, Chen Jing, Gu Xiurong, Fern Aki, Paul Hacker, Han Xiaorong, Huang Bihong, Li Yuenching, Liu Jiacai, Shoshana Su, Tian Chenshan, Wan Jianing, Wang Caixiang, Wang Huijing, Wang Shaoling, Mike White, Yang I-Te, Zhang Yao, Eric Meyer, Roger P. Bissonnette, Fang Zhizeng, Xu Ruzong, Bai Yuqing, Alan Adcock, Ang Woei, Joel A. de Benoit, Nghi Duc (Bruce) Chau, Robert K. Cliver, Tom Cullen, Jeffrey J. Hayden, Mun Yin (Carol) Li, Lisa Leigh Lian, Liu Dong, Ip Hung (Kim) Mar, David Pai, Sylvia Henel Sun, Kristina L. Taber, Jianqi Wang, Kai Wang, Ye Ding, Di Zhang, Ruohong Zhang, Zheng Jie, Liu Yongquan, Ke Chuanren, Michael Carr, Chu Kuangfu, Duan Xiaoqing, Jia Yunqi, Liu Ziheng, Lo Chihong, Thomas H. Mair, Wei Xin, Apollo Wu, Xie Tianwei, Ted Yao, Zhang Zesheng, Robert Cheng, David Ashworth, Lo Chin-tang, and David W. Goodrich.

Our own role as editors involved overall supervision of all aspects of the work as well as contributions to the detailed tasks in both sections of the dictionary. In all these tasks we had the invaluable help of those mentioned above, and we heartily thank them all.

John DeFrancis, University of Hawai‘i
Yanyin Zhang, University of Canberra, Australia; University of Hawai‘i


Distinctive Features of the Dictionary

The present dictionary carries further the distinctive features first presented in the ABC Chinese-English Dictionary, namely:

  1. It offers the powerful advantage of arranging entries in single-sort alphabetical order as by far the simplest and fastest way to look up a term whose pronunciation is known. Alone among look-up systems, the ABC Dictionary enables users to find words seen only in transcription or heard but not seen in written form. And, since most dictionary consultation involves characters whose pronunciation is known (not just by native speakers, but also by learners beyond the very beginning level), in the long run the total savings in time is enormous. (Radical and stroke-order indexes of characters are provided for those cases where the pronunciation of a term is not known.)
  2. It has been compiled with the aid of computers and lends itself to further development in electronic as well as printed form.
  3. It makes use of the latest PRC lexicographical developments in respect to selection of terms and rules of orthography.
  4. It utilizes frequency data from both the PRC and Taiwan to indicate the relative frequency of entries that are complete homographs (identical even as to tones) or partial homographs (identical except for tones) as an aid to student learning and computer inputting.
  5. It presents a unique one-to-one correspondence between transcription and characters that permits calling up on computer the desired characters for any entry by simple uninterrupted typing of the corresponding transcription.

Additional distinctive features include the following:

  1. It draws on an extensive range of sources to present in one volume more entries than any other dictionary of comparable size.
  2. It presents for each entry (where appropriate) the traditional character equivalents for the preceding simplified characters.
  3. It provides information regarding boundness of individual characters, including differences in bound status for different meanings or uses of the same character..
  4. It indicates the appropriate measure word that should be used for a particular noun.
  5. It provides in the Comprehensive Radical Chart a novel look-up procedure that facilitates access to the traditional, simplified, and variant forms of characters.

Reader's Guide

Selection and Explication of Entries

1. In the selection of entries we have been guided by the desire to make our coverage as extensive as possible in the areas of the humanities and social sciences. To this end, we have rechecked some of the sources consulted in the compilation of the ABC Chinese-English Dictionary and we have exhaustively consulted a great variety of other sources, including both general dictionaries and specialized works in the areas of literature, linguistics, archaeology, slang, and many others. Under Works Consulted, we list both the works consulted in the compilation of the ABC Chinese-English Dictionary and those consulted for the present work.

In contrast with our earlier practice, in the present comprehensive dictionary we have undertaken to provide entries for all characters that occur in any term in the dictionary, whether as free forms or as parts of multi-character combinations. This has resulted in a more detailed analysis of meaningful single-character entries that can stand alone, and in the addition of several thousand entries for characters that occur only in combinations, sometimes with meanings of their own, sometimes with no meaning of their own but as part of one or several multi-syllabic monomorphemic words. For these bound characters, we indicate their combinatorial potential with one or more examples.

In defining the entries we have consulted a great variety of works in order to take account of the sometimes surprisingly diverse meanings attached to a word. The works consulted, which are listed below, include ones that reflect usage in Taiwan as well as the PRC. Our definitions indicate the area of usage, not only the one just mentioned but also other environments (such as linguistics, law, etc.) and register (such as slang, colloquial, etc.). A particular effort has been made to distinguish items that occur chiefly in written materials rather than in ordinary speech. As a further help to Western students, we include information on parts of speech as appropriate for each definition.

2. In defining the entries we have consulted works that reflect usage in Taiwan as well the PRC. Definitions include additional cues on areas and environment of usage (such as linguistics, computers, etc.) and register (such as slang, formal, etc.) Further explication is provided by many sentences providing examples of usage.

3. For entries with identical spelling, including tones, arrangement is by order of frequency, indicated by a raised number before the transcription, a device adapted from Western lexicographic practice to distinguish homonyms. In the case of monosyllabic entries, our frequency order is based largely on Xiàndài Hànyǔ Pínlǜ Cídiǎn. In the case of entries of more than one syllable, we have also made use of Zhōngwén Shūmiànyǔ Pínlǜ Cídiǎn. For entries not found in either work, we have made subjective judgments of relative frequency. For entries that are homographic if tones are disregarded, the item of highest frequency is indicated by an asterisk following the transcription. For example:

ba* 1bā 2bā 3bā . . . 6bā 1bá 2bá 1bà 2bà . . . 6bà

(For the characters corresponding to these transcriptions, see the main body of the dictionary.)

Frequency information, while useful also for students, is provided chiefly as an aid to determine the default items in computer usage. Our unique combination of letters, tone marks, and raised numbers provides a simple and distinctive one-to-one correspondence between transcription and character( s) that is intended to facilitate computerized handling of the entries.



In matters such as capitalization, use of hyphens, and joining or separation of syllables, although the Basic Rules for Hanyu Pinyin Orthography promulgated in 1988 were made the official standard in 1996, it appears that some PRC writers disagree with the rules or find them insufficiently detailed to cover all the problems that arise in this area, and they are therefore advancing their own preferences or ad hoc solutions. (For example, many Chinese use d, di, de respectively for the characters 的, 地, 得 in ALL cases instead of only in the officially sanctioned "when necessary for technical purposes.") It is apparent that thoroughgoing standardization at a level approximating that of Western orthographies is presently not possible but must be worked out over what may turn out to be a considerable period of time, as was indeed the case in the West.

In this dictionary we have adopted the policy of following the rules when they appear to have general acceptance, and, in the many instances where there are no clear guidelines, in consultation with some of the leading PRC workers in this field we have advanced solutions that we hope are at least internally consistent. However, it should be stressed that our ABC Chinese-English Comprehensive Dictionary does not claim to provide a definitive or authoritative solution to the exceedingly complicated problems of Pinyin orthography. Instead it should be viewed as the largest alphabetically arranged database that can provide a starting point for what should eventually lead to a reference work comprising a more or less exhaustive lexicon that has the imprimatur of official Pinyin orthography.


Explanatory Notes and Examples

1. When a syllable beginning with a, e, or o appears non-initially in a polysyllabic word, it is preceded by an apostrophe. Thus

tiān 天 N. sky
tí'àn 提案 N. proposal
dǎngǎn 胆敢 = dǎn + gǎn V. dare to; be reckless to the extent of
dàng'àn 档案 = dàng + àn N. file; record; dossier; archives

2. The lack of a tone-mark indicates that a syllable is to be pronounced in the neutral tone, as zi in háizi ‘child’, and bu in kànbujiàn ‘can’t see’. (Some words can be pronounced with either neutral or original tones. This dictionary indicates ordinary pronunciation of most speakers in normal conversation.)

3. Tone modification is not indicated. All syllables are marked with their primary tones. Hence bǎotǎ rather than báotǎ for "pagoda", bùyào rather than búyào for "don't", and yīdiǎn(r) rather than yìdiǎn(r) for "a little".

4. Since erization is largely restricted to the Beijing dialect, and is further restricted to some usages of the term, we place the r in parentheses unless a term occurs only with r. For example:

yīdiǎn(r) 一点(儿) ADV. a bit; a little
歌片(儿) N. song sheet
kuài(r)tóu 块(儿)头 N. <topo.> size; stature; build
pánrcài 盘儿菜 N. ready-cooked dish

Note that in actual speech, i and n preceding r in such terms are not pronounced. Thus the terms would be pronounced yīdiǎr, gēpiār, kuàrtóu, and párcài.

5. In addition to the general category of V., we have singled out the sub-categories of V.O. and R.V. to draw attention to the fact that they allow elements to be inserted between the two parts. For example:

diǎnhuǒ 点火 V.O. light a fire (This permits diǎnle huǒ . . . ‘having lit the fire . . .’)
kànjiàn 看见 R.V. see (This permits kànbujiàn "can't see")

6. We present under the category of CONS. the special constructions in which some of the entries appear. For example, for the entry bùxíng "won't do/work", we add

CONS. S.V. de bùxíng awfully S.V. Wǒ máng de bùxíng. I'm awfully busy.

7. The abbreviation ID. for "idiom" introduces a category of expressions much favored in Chinese speech and writing, especially in the form of four-syllable and four-character terms called chéngyǔ. Note that many idioms are pithy distillations of stories that would take considerable space to tell. Rather than devote space to explaining the background of the idioms, we give only their actual meaning. An analogy in English would be to give "sign here" as the equivalent for "put your John Hancock here." Chéngyǔ are to be distinguished from ad hoc collocations that fluent speakers of modern Chinese are able to understand if heard for the first time in context. Such collocations may function like a part of speech and are given such distinctive labels as V.P. (verb phrase), N. (noun), V.P./S.V. (verb phrase functioning as a stative verb). For example:

ānyú 安于 V.P. feel contented in/with

8. To save space we sometimes give one definition for two parts of speech when readers can be expected to make the necessary adjustments in phrasing. Thus

bàgōng 罢工 N./V.O. go on strike

represents both the noun and the verb-object construction ‘go on strike’.

9. Slightly variant meanings of entries are separated by semicolons. For example:

bàihuài 败坏 V. ruin; corrupt; undermine

More widely different meanings are distinguished by circled numbers. For example:

2báichī 白痴 N. ① idiot ② idiocy; fatuity
1bǎi 白 NUM. ① hundred ② numerous

10. Angled brackets enclose an abbreviation for level of speech, or "register," or for the environment in which a term is used. For example:

fèi 费 V. <coll.> A cost; spend; expend B <slang> talk nonsense ◆ S.V. wasteful
dàijūnzhě 带菌者 N. <med.> carrier
fāngchéng 方程 N. <chem./math.> equation

11. A definition may be directly followed by an illustrative sentence or phrase. For example:

bìngliè 并列 V. be juxtaposed; stand side by side ~ dì-yī tie for first place

12. In general, a slash stands for "and/or" For example:

bǎilún 摆轮 N. balance (of watch/clock); balance wheel
6bà 耙 N./V. harrow
fāng’àn 方案 N. scheme M: zhǒng/gè
fǎngtán 访谈 N./V. interview

A slash between characters separates variant characters, the first being the more commonly used. For example:

bǎifèijùxīng 百废俱/具兴 F.E. All neglected tasks are being undertaken.

If a string includes more than one variant, we repeat the string with two slant lines in between. For example:

bǎobǎo 宝宝//保保 <topo.> precious/darling baby
bìgōngbìjìng 毕恭毕敬//必恭必敬

13. Note that changes in part of speech are signaled by the symbol ◆. For example:

6fēnlí 分离 V. separate; sever ◆ N. discreteness; disjunction

14. An entry used as both an ordinary word and a proper noun is handled as follows:

3bā 巴 V. hope for . . . N. ①<loan./phy.> bar ② Surname ③ ancient name for eastern Sichuan
sīmǎ 司马 N. ① minister of war in Zhou dynasty ② Double Surname

15. To save space we use a tilde (∼) to replace a head entry. Thus under the head entry

bǎituō 摆脱 R.V. cast/shake off

we have the illustrative phrase ~ wàilái gānshè shake off external interferences

16. Square brackets enclose the traditional character equivalent(s) for the preceding character(s).

17. The appropriate measure word(s) that should be used for a particular noun are presented as follows:

lúnchuán 轮船 N. steamship M: 2sōu [艘]

Any N. without indication of a measure word either does not ordinarily have one, or can take the general measure word ge or a collective measure word such as zhǒng ‘sort; kind’ and duī ‘pile’.

18. In the body of the dictionary the two kinds of bound forms (see Parts of Speech and Other Entry Labels) are handled as follows:

meaningful bound forms: 伐 V. fell; cut down ◆ B.F send an expedition against tǎofá 讨伐
meaningless bound forms: 19hú 蝴 in húdié

19. For reasons of typographical simplicity, we omit all diacritics in Sanskrit words.

20. Chinese fāngyán, literally "regional speech", is often rendered as "dialect". This is misleading, since many fāngyán (Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese, etc.) are mutually unintelligible. To stress these differences, we label the major non-Mandarin fāngyán as topo. = topolects (from Greek roots meaning "place" and "speak"), as in the 4th edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.


Parts of Speech and Other Entry Labels

1. AB. (Abbreviation, Suǒxiěcí 缩写词). Multi-syllable nominal phrase usually shortened to two or three syllables. E.g. Běi Dà for Běijīng Dàxué.

2. ADV. (Adverb, Fùcí 副词). Adverbs modify the action of the verb. Verbal modification includes (i) intensification, e.g. hěn in hěn hǎo 'is very good'; (ii) negation, e.g. in bù shuō 'doesn't speak'; (iii) quantification, e.g. dōu in dōu shuō 'all say'; (iv) repetition, e.g., zài in zài shuō 'say it again'; etc. Most stative verbs (S.V.) can also function as adverbs, e.g. mànmàn chī 'Take your time (eating)' and rènzhēn in rènzhēn de xiě 'write carefully'. However, this is only a secondary function of a stative verb. Therefore stative verbs are not additionally labeled as adverbs in this dictionary.

3. A.M. (Aspect Marker, Tǐbiāojì 体标记). Aspect means the stage of completion of an action. Chinese usually uses verbal suffixes as a means of indicating this information. Examples of Chinese aspect include the (i) durative (action in progress, much like ‘-ing’ in English), e.g., zhe in kànzhe ‘is watching’; (ii) perfective (completed action), e.g., le in ànle wǔ ge diànyǐng, ‘saw five movies’; and (iii) experiential (much like the ‘ever’ in the question ‘Have you ever . . . ?’), e.g., guo in jiànguo tā ‘have met him before’. Note that aspect is not the same thing as tense. Tense refers to when the action takes place relative to when the utterance is actually spoken, and so at most any language can have only three tenses: past, present and future. Aspect, on the other hand, can occur in any tense, so that even completed action can be spoken of in the (a) past, e.g., Tā zuótiān dàole Běijn̄g ‘He arrived in Beijing yesterday’; (b) present, e.g., Tā xiànzài dàole Běijīng ‘He has now arrived in Beijing’; or (c) future, e.g., Tā míngtiān zhèige shíhou yǐjing dàole Běijīng ‘He will already have arrived in Beijing by this time tomorrow’. (See also M.P. for usage of le as a sentence-final particle.)

4. A.T. (Abstruse Term, Shēn'àocí 深奥词). A term that occurs so infrequently or has such unclear syntactic behavior that its part of speech cannot be determined with assurance, if at all. E.g., géqiǎn.

5. ATTR. (Attributive, Dìngyǔ 定语). An attributive is any word, phrase or sentence that is found directly in front of a noun or noun phrase and functions to modify that noun. Just about any word, phrase or sentence in Chinese can easily function as an attributive. Because of this, the label ATTR. is limited in this dictionary only to those entries that have no possible function other than that of attributive. Examples include gōnggòng in gōnggòng qìchē '(public) bus', qián in qiánbàn 'first half', Zhōng-Měi in Zhōng-Měi guānxi 'Sino-American relations', etc.

6. AUX. (Auxiliary Verb, Zhùdòngcí 助动词). This is what schoolteachers often call a "helping verb." Auxiliary verbs in Chinese always precede the main verb, e.g. néng in néng shuō Yīngwén 'able to speak English'. When an auxiliary verb co-occurs with a coverb (COV.), then the auxiliary verb always precedes the coverb, e.g. néng gēn wàiguórén shuō Yīngwén 'able to speak English with foreigners'. In any sentence containing an auxiliary verb, negation is always placed directly in front of the auxiliary verb, e.g. bùnéng gēn wàiguórén shuō Yīngwén 'unable to speak English with foreigners'.

7. B.F. (Bound Form, Niánzhuó Císù 粘着词素). Morphemes which do not function as free words in a sentence and cannot be handled using one of the other bound category labels, such as prefix, suffix, measure word, or particle. A given character may represent a free word in one or more of its meanings but a bound morpheme in other meanings. E.g. qiǎng 抢 is a bound form meaning 'take emergency measures' in qiǎngshòu 抢收 but a free form as a verb meaning 'pillage'.) In addition to these meaningful bound forms, which we define and illustrate with one or more examples, there are many characters which have no meaning of their own but simply represent a syllabic sound. E.g. 8 葡 and 6táo 萄 in pútao 葡萄 'grapes'. For these entries we provide neither entry label nor definition but simply note words in which the character occurs. See also III. Explanatory Notes and Examples no. 17 above, and Section V. Free and Bound Characters below.

8. CMP. (Complement, Bǔyǔ 补语). A complement is a post-verbal syllable, word, phrase or sentence that indicates the end result of the action carried out by the main verb. This end result may be (i) a state, e.g. wán in chīwán 'finish eating', zhù in zhuāzhù 'grasp tightly'; (ii) physical displacement, e.g. guòlai in ná guòlai 'bring on over', shàngqu in ná shàngqu 'take on up'; (iii) psychological displacement, e.g. xiàlai in mǎi xiàlai 'buy sth. (and thus bring it "down" into one's own realm)', etc. For all types of complement it is further possible to indicate the potential for that complement to be realized as a result of carrying out the main action. That potential or lack of potential is indicated by inserting a -de- (indicating positive potential) or a -bu- (indicating no potential whatsoever) directly between the main verb and its complement, e.g. chīdewán 'able to finish sth. if one tries', chībuwán 'unable to finish sth. no matter how hard one tries'. See also Resultative Verb construction (R.V.).

9. CONJ. (Conjunction, Liáncí 连词). A conjunction is a word that joins phrases or sentences together to form a larger sentence or chunk of thought. Some examples include érqiě 'furthermore', suīrán 'although', suǒyǐ 'therefore', jiù 'then' and yàoburán 'otherwise'.

10. CONS. (Construction, Jùxíng 句型). A fixed sentence or phrase pattern. E.g. yǔqí V1 bùrú V2 'rather than V1 it is better to V2' (where V1 and V2 represent any two verbs); cóng A qǐ 'starting/beginning from A' (where A represents any word).

11. COV. (Coverb, Jiècí 介词). Entries of this category frequently translate into English as prepositions. They directly precede nouns, which in turn are followed immediately by the main verb/action, e.g. gēn in gēn wàiguórén shuō Yīngwén 'speak English with foreigners', gěi in gěi péngyou mǎi lǐwù 'buy a present for a friend'.

12. F.E. (Fixed Expression, Gùdìng Cízǔ 固定词组). Set expressions that allow for little if any freedom to substitute different words. They include (i) utterances whose meanings are exactly equivalent to the meaning of their parts, E.g. hǎojiǔbujiàn 'haven't seen (you) for a long time', báirìzuòmèng 'daydream', zhàn de gāo, kàn de yuǎn 'be far-sighted'; (ii) parallel nominal, verbal, or phrasal expressions, e.g. méiwánméiliǎo 'endless', píhóngguàlǜ 'drape honorific red silk band over sb.'s shoulders'; (iii) expressions whose meanings are strictly speaking metaphorical, but which can still be fairly easily understood when encountered in context, e.g. zǒumǎkànhuā 'know only from cursory observation'. Most examples of what have been called chéngyǔ and súyǔ rightfully belong to this category and not idiom. Very frequently example sentences are necessary for students to know how to use entries from this category actively.

13. ID. (Idiom, Xíyǔ 习语). A subset of fixed expressions whose meanings cannot be understood from context, but rather depend upon the listener/reader's specialized cultural, literary and/or historical knowledge in order to be understood. Most, if not all, idioms require example sentences in order for students to know how to use them actively, e.g. jiānghérìxià 'go from bad to worse'; mùyǐchéngzhōu 'what's done can't be undone'; wángyángbǔláo 'better late than never'.

14. INF. (Infix, Zhōngzhuì 中缀). The two bound markers of potential in resultative verb (see R.V. below) and directional verb constructions, i.e. 3de 得, bu 不, e.g. chīdewán 'able to finish sth. if one tries', nábuxiàlai 'unable to get sth. down no matter how hard one tries'.

15. INTJ. (Interjection, Gǎntàncí 感叹词). An unbound exclamation. E.g. 2ài expressing sentiment/sympathy/disappointment; āiyō expressing surprise/pain.

16. M. (Nominal Measure Word, Míngliàngcí 名量词). In Chinese it is not possible to count the quantity of something simply by using a bare number, followed immediately by a noun. Rather, Chinese nouns all behave like the English nouns 'paper', 'water' and 'dynamite'. That is, when we count these three nouns in English, we must include an additional word, such as 'sheet', 'cup' or 'stick' directly after the quantity, and directly in front of the noun. This additional word tells us something about the shape, size, unit of measurement, etc. of the noun in question. Some Chinese examples include zhāng in yī zhāng zhuōzi 'one desk'; in liǎng bǎ yǐzi 'two chairs'; and 4zhī in sān zhī qiānbǐ 'three pencils'. In recent years ge 个, the nonspecific measure word, has gradually been displacing the other, more specific measure words. In the dictionary, nouns that do not have a specific measure word may be used with ge. In actuality, ge is also used with many other nouns as well.

17. M.P. (Modal Particle, Yǔqìcí 语气词). These are sentence-final particles that express some kind of attitude, opinion, or feeling of the speaker. A few of the attitudes commonly expressed by modal particles in Mandarin include (i) supposition, e.g. ba in Nǐ shì Měiguórén ba? 'You're an American, right?'; (ii) warning, e.g. a in Nǐ bié shàng tā de dàng a! 'Don't be fooled by him!'; (iii) exclamation, e.g. lou in Chī fàn lou! 'Time to eat!'; (iv) new (or currently relevant) situation, e.g., le in Tài guì le. ‘It’s too expensive.’

18. N. (Noun, Míngcí 名词). We use this label to cover a broad range of nominal expressions, from simple names of persons or things, to extended noun phrases (míngcí cízǔ 名词词组). (More technically: An expression that can be modified by a demonstrative pronoun plus a measure word. E.g., shū in nà běn shū 'that book.') Chinese nouns, unlike their English counterparts, usually do not inherently contain a sense of location. That is, while one can comfortably say: 'He is eating by the picnic table' in English, the same sentence cannot be translated directly into Chinese without modification. This is because the action of eating is taking place at a specific location by the picnic table, yet zhuōzi 'table' all by itself in Chinese is merely a physical object. It lacks any natural sense of location. Therefore, some sort of locational information, e.g. nèibiānr 'there', xiàmian 'under' or 'in', is required after zhuōzi in order to locate the action in physical space. See P.W. (Place Word) for the special subtype of Chinese noun that does not require additional locational information when the noun serves as a location. The label N. is used for both nouns and noun phrases; the latter include (i) cases of the form 'XX de Noun' or 'XX zhī Noun', where modification of a noun takes place using a Subordinating Particle (S.P.), e.g. ài de jiéjīng 'child of a couple in love', bàijūnzhījiàng 'general of a defeated army', as well as (ii) cases where two or more levels of modification exist, 'XX YY Noun' and the complex entry itself is neither a proper technical term nor an accepted piece of jargon, e.g. àiguó wèishēng yùndòng 'patriotic health campaign'.

19. NUM. (Number, Shùcí 数词). E.g. 'one', èr 'two', sān 'three'.

20. ON. (Onomatopoeia, Xiàngshēngcí 象声词). These are terms that imitate or are suggestive of the things they represent. Examples include dīdā 'sound of dripping water' and wūwū 'sound of hooting'.

21. PR. (Pronoun, Dàicí 代词). Includes (i) personal pronouns, e.g. 'I, me'; (ii) interrogative pronouns, e.g. shuí 'who?'; and (iii) demonstrative pronouns, e.g. zhè 'this'.

22. PREF. (Prefix, Qiánzhuì 前缀). Always bound and prefixed to (i) nouns, e.g. lǎo 'old' in Lǎo Wáng 'old Wang'; 2fēi 'non' in fēijīnshǔ 'non-metal'; (ii) numbers, e.g. 'sequence' in dì-sān 'third'; or (iii) verbs, e.g. 2 'can' in kěxíng 'doable'; hǎo 'good' in hǎochī 'delicious'; 2nán 'difficult' in nánchī 'bad tasting'.

23. P.W. (Place Word, Chùsuǒcí 处所词). Most Chinese nouns do not convey a sense of location. Therefore, when a Chinese noun is used to indicate the whereabouts of another object or the setting of a particular action, it is normally necessary to place some sort of locational information, e.g. nèibiānr 'there', xiàmian 'under', 'in', etc., directly after the reference noun (see discussion of N. above). However, there are certain types of nouns in Chinese that actually do inherently contain a salient enough sense of location that the inclusion of additional location information about that noun is largely unnecessary. These special nouns are called place words, and include (i) names of countries, e.g. Zhōngguó 'China', (ii) institutions, e.g. Běijīng Dàxué 'Beijing University', (iii) organizations, e.g. Liánhéguó 'United Nations' and (iv) buildings, e.g. túshūguǎn 'library'.

24. R.F. (Reduplicated Form, Chóngdiécí 重叠词). Terms containing the reduplication of one or two basic syllables. Examples include (i) XXYY reduplication, e.g. mǎmahūhū 'so-so', and (ii) XYY reduplication, e.g. lěngbīngbīng 'very cold'.

25. R.V. (Resultative Verb, Jiéguǒ Bǔyǔcí 结果补语词). Sometimes Chinese focuses not only on the action itself, but also on the end result or goal of that action, e.g. chīwán (lit. 'eat and finish') and ná guòlai (lit. 'pick up and bring on over'). 'Finish' is the end result of eating, and 'ending up over here' is the final result of picking sth. up and carrying it somewhere. These verb-complement constructions (see CMP. above) are labeled here as resultative verb constructions, even though some people might call ná guòlai by a different name. For both types of constructions it is further possible to indicate the potential for the goal of that action to be realized. That potential or lack of potential is indicated by inserting an infix (see INF. above) -de- (indicating positive potential) or -bu- (indicating no potential whatsoever) directly between the main verb and the complement that follows it, e.g. chīdewán 'able to finish sth. if one tries', bu guòlai 'unable to bring sth. on over no matter how hard one tries'.

26. S.P. (Subordinating Particle, Cóngshǔcí 从属词). Used to link either (i) a modifying clause with the head noun that follows it, i.e. 1de 的 and zhī 之, e.g., tāmen kàn de shū 'the book they read'; (ii) an adverbial with the verb that follows it, i.e. 2de 地, e.g., gāoxìng de shuō 'say happily'; or (iii) a verb and the manner clause that follows it, i.e. 3de 得: bù néng shuō de hěn kuài 'speak quickly'.

27. SUF. (Suffix, Hòuzhuì 后缀). Always bound, most suffixes combine with nouns, e.g. 2huà 化, r 儿, biān 边, 里, wài 外, zhōng 中, though verbal suffixes, e.g. bùdié, chūlai, also exist. Aspect markers (A.M.) are one type of verbal suffix, but are treated as an independent category here. Note that whereas monosyllabic position morphemes such as -=lǐ and wài are suffixes, their bisyllabic semantic equivalents lǐtou, wàibiān, zhōngjiān etc. are place words (P.W.).

28. S.V. (Stative Verb, Xíngróngcí 形容词). These entries are frequently translated into English as adjectives, even though they actually behave in Chinese as verbs. That is, the sense of 'to be' is already incorporated into these verbs, e.g. Zhèige hěn hǎo 'This is quite good.' In fact, it is simply ungrammatical to place the verb shì, 'to be', directly in front of a stative verb. Because stative verbs are actually verbs, they are directly negated by , e.g. bù hǎo 'not good', and can be further modified by adverbs of degree such as hěn 'quite', fēicháng 'extremely' and shífēn 'very; utterly'. One common function of stative verbs is that they may serve as adverbs to other actions, e.g. mànmàn in mànmàn chī 'Take your time (eating)' and rènzhēn in rènzhēn de xiě 'write carefully'.

29. V. (Verb, dòngcí 动词). A word indicating an action or existence. E.g. chī 'eat', zài 'exist; be at'. (More technically: A word that can be modified by the negatives 'not' and méi 'have/did not'. E.g., 'do not go', méi qù 'did not go'.) See also Stative Verb (S.V.) and V.O. construction.

30. V.M. (Verbal Measure Word, Dòngliàngcí 动量词. These are bound syllables, suffixed to a quantity, that indicate the number of times an action has taken place, E.g. 次, tàng 趟: qù yī tàng 'go once'; 3biàn 遍: zài shuō yī biàn 'say it again'.

31. V.O. (Verb-Object Construction, Dòng-Bīn Jiégòu 动宾结构). Many English verbs get translated into natural Chinese as a verb plus an object noun, e.g. chīfàn for 'eat', shuōhuà for 'speak', etc. It is important for two reasons to know what is merely a verb in Chinese and what is actually a verb-object construction. First, verb-object constructions can never take a second object, i.e. chīfàn can never be followed directly by something else to be eaten. Second, a verb and its object can be separated from one another, thus allowing (i) aspect particles to be placed directly after the verb, e.g. chīle fàn 'after finishing eating'; (ii) modification of the object, e.g. chī Zhōngguófàn 'eat Chinese food'; and (iii) quantification of the noun, e.g. chīle sān wǎn fàn 'ate three bowls of rice'. See also Stative Verb (S.V.).

32. V.P. (Verb Phrase, Dòngcí Cízǔ 动词词组). This includes (i) descriptive predicates that do not behave as stative verbs, e.g., ǎirán ‘amicable; amiable’, as well as (ii) phrases and longer chunks containing a verb that are not fixed expressions, e.g., bǎiláibǎiqù ‘sway; waver’, áidào tiānhēi ‘bear up until nightfall’.


Free and Bound Characters

As an integral part of our labeling of parts of speech we make a distinction between those which are "free" and those which are "bound" and we further recognize two levels of "boundness". First there are those characters that individually have no meaning of their own (at least in modern Chinese) but require one or more companion characters to form a meaningful word. The characters 蟋 and shuài 蟀 separately have no more meaning than English 'cric' and 'ket', but together they represent a word, xīshuai, meaning 'cricket'. In our single-character entries, such characters are neither labeled nor defined but simply followed by a word (occasionally more than one word) in which the given character occurs.

Exhibiting a second level of boundness are those characters which do have meaning of their own, and often carry this meaning into many different compound words, but which do not occur independently as free words in standard modern Chinese (though they may be free words in classical Chinese or in very formal written styles of the language). Examples are 女 'female' in nǚrén 'woman', nǚháizi 'girl', nǚde 'woman, female', and fùnǚ 'woman, women'; and 2shēng 生 'student' in xuéshēng 'student', nánshēng 'male student', nǚshēng 'female student', and zhàoshēng 'recruit students'. Many characters are bound in some meanings but free in others. For example, 2shēng 生, in addition to being bound in the meaning of 'student', is also bound in its meaning of 'life', as in shēnghuó 'life, livelihood' and shēngsǐ 'life and death'. But in the meaning 'to give birth' or 'to be born' it is a free word, a verb. We label such characters B.F., for 'bound form', when they occur only in compound words; and those that are bound in some meanings and free in others are labeled accordingly in the several sub-definitions within their entries.

These categorizations should be valuable to users of the dictionary in at least two ways. Like the other entry labels, N., V., S.V., etc., they enhance the semantic definition of a term, providing grammatical information to improve the user's understanding of how the terms are used. And beyond that, they serve the very practical purpose of a caution sign, indicating that one cannot turn the Chinese-to-English definitional equivalents around and assume that a given English concept is expressed in Chinese by the single character in question. For example, one cannot say that the Chinese word for woman is or the word for student is shēng, because these are not "words" in Chinese but bound morphemes, or "parts" of words.



AB.abbreviationsuōxiě 缩写
acct.accountingkuàijì 会计
ADJ.adjectivexíngróngcí 形容词
ADV.adverbfùcí 副词
agr.agriculturenóngyè 农业
A.M.aspect markertǐ biāojì 体标记
archeo.archeologykǎogǔxué 考古学
archi.architecturejiànzhùxué 建筑学
art.articleguàncí 冠词
astr.astronomytiānwénxué 天文学
ATTR.attributivedìngyǔ 定语
AUX.auxiliary verbzhùdòngcí 助动词
B.F.bound formniánzhuó císù 粘着词素
bio.biologyshēngwùxué 生物学
Budd.Buddhism, BuddhistFójiào 佛教
ca.about; approximatelydàyuē 大约
CCPChinese Communist PartyZhōngguó Gòngchǎndǎng 中国共产党
cent.centuryshìjì 世纪
Ch.China, ChineseZhōngguó 中国
Ch. med.Chinese medicineZhōngyī 中医
chem.chemistryhuàxué 化学
CMP.complementbǔyǔ 补语
coll.colloquialkǒuyǔ 口语
com.commerceshāngyè 商业
comp.computerjìsuànjī 计算机
COMPAR.comparativebǐjiàoyí 比较级
CONJ.conjunctionliáncí 连词
CONS.constructionjùxíng 句型
court.courteousjìngcí 敬词
COV.coverbjiècí 介词
Cult. Rev.Cultural RevolutionWén-Gé 文革
d.diedshìshì 逝世
Dao.Daoism, DaoistDàojiào 道教
d.d.etc.děngděng 等等
derog.derogatorybiǎnyìcí 贬义词
econ.economicsjīngjì 经济
edu.educationjiàoyù 教育
elec.electrical engineeringdiàngōng 电工
esp.especiallytèzhǐ 特指
F.E.fixed expressiongùdìng cízǔ 固定词组
fig.figurative(ly)yǐnyù 隐喻
forest.forestrysēnlín 森林
form.formalzhèngshì yòngyǔ 正式用语
geog.geographydìlǐ 地理
geol.geologydìzhì 地质
hist.historylìshǐ 历史
humb.humbleqiāncí 谦词
ID.idiomatic sayingxíyǔ 习语
INF.infixzhōngzhuì 中缀
inform.informalfēizhèngshìyǔ 非正式语
INTJ.interjectiongǎntàn 感叹
Jp.Japan, JapaneseRìběn 日本
KMTKuomintang/GuomindangGuómíndǎng 国民党
lg.language, linguisticsyǔyán(xué) 语言(学)
lit.literal(ly)zìmiàn yì 字面义
liv.livestock husbandryxùmù 畜牧
loanloan wordwàiláicí 外来词
log.logicluóji 逻辑
M.measureliàngcí 量词
mach.machineryjīxiè 机械
math.mathematicsshùxué 数学
med.medicineyīxué 医学
met.meteorologyqìxiàng 气象
metal.metallurgyyějīn 冶金
mil.militaryjūnshì 军事
min.miningkuàngyè 矿业
M.P.modal particleyǔqìcí 语气词
mus.musicyīnyuè 音乐
N.nounmíngcí 名词
N.C.countable nounkěshǔ míngcí 可数名词
N.P.plural nounfùshù míngcí 复数名词
N.SING.singular noundānshù míngcí 单数名词
N.U.uncountable nounbùkěshǔ míngcí 不可数名词
NUM.numbershùcí 数词
on.onomatopoeiaxiàngshēngcí 象声词
orig.original(ly)yuányì 原意
paleo.paleontologygǔshēngwùxué 古生物学
phil.philosophyzhéxué 哲学
photo.photographyshèyǐng 摄影
phy.physicswùlǐ 物理
phys.physiologyshēnglǐxué 生理学
PL.pluralfùshù 复数
pol.politicszhèngzhì 政治
P.P.past participleguòqù fēncí 过去分词
PRON.pronoundàicí 代词
PRCPeople's Republic of ChinaZhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó 中华人民共和国
PREF.prefixqiánzhuì 前缀
PRES.P.present participlexiànzài fēncí 现在分词
print.printingyìnshuā 印刷
psy.psychologyxīnlǐxué 心理学
P.T.past tenseguòqùshí 过去时 wordchùsuǒcí 处所词
rel.religionzōngjiào 宗教
R.F.reduplicated formchóngdiécí 重叠词
R.V.resultative verbjiéguǒ bǔyǔ 结果补语词
sb.somebodymǒurén 某人
sig.signifying, signalizingbiǎoshì 表示
soc.sociologyshèhuìxué 社会学
S.P.subordinating particlecóngshǔcí 从属词
sth.somethingmǒushì 某事
SUF.suffixhòuzhuì 后缀
SUPER.superlative degreezuìgāojí 最高级
sur.surveyingcèhuì 测绘
S.V.stative verbjìngtài dòngcí 形容词
thea.theaterxìjù 戏剧
topo.topolect, non-Mandarinfāngyán 方言
trad.traditionalchuántǒng 传统
traf.traffic, communicationjiāotōng 交通
TWTaiwanTáiwān 台湾
txtl.textilefǎngzhī 纺织
usu.usuallytōngcháng 通常
V.verbdòngcí 动词
V.I.intransitive verbbùjíwù dòngcí 不及物动词
V.M.verbal measure worddòngliàngcí 动量词
V.O.verb-objectdòng-bīn línhécí 动宾离合词
V.P.verb phrasedòngcí cízǔ 动词词组
V.T.transitive verbjíwù dòngcí 及物动词
vs.versusduìyìng 对应
vulg.vulgarsúyǔ 俗语
wr.writing, wenyanwényán, shūmiàn 文言, 书面
zoo.zoologydòngwùxué 动物学


Works Consulted

This is a list of the main sources consulted, with brief comments for the most important items.

Chan Sin-wei. A Glossary of Translation Terms. Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 1993.

Chao, Yuen Ren and Lien Sheng Yang. Concise Dictionary of Spoken Chinese. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1947. Particularly useful for information on boundedness of characters.

Chao Yuen Ren. Grammar of Spoken Chinese. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1968. Magisterial in its coverage and valuable for odds and ends of usage.

Chen Guangxun, ed. Xin Han-Ying Cidian. Seattle: Univesity of Washington Press, 1985.

Chen Xinwang, ed. Han-Ying Yulin. Shanghai: Jiaotong University Press, 1991.

Chen Zhujuan, ed. Han-Ying Chengyu Shouce. Hong Kong: Sanlian Shudian, 1981.

Chinese-English Glossary of Linguistic Terms. Compiled by the Chinese-English Translation Assistance Group. Kensington, MD: Dunwoody Press, 1986.

Ching, Eugene and Nora. 201 Chinese Verbs. Woodbury, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 1977.

Collier, David. Chinese-English Dictionary of Colloquial Terms used in Modern Chinese Literature. New Haven: Far Eastern Publications, 1979.

Dai Mingzhong et al., eds. Han-Ying Zonghe Cidian. Shanghai: Shanghai Waiyu Jiaoyu Chubanshe, 1991.

Daoxu Xiandai Hanyu Cidian. Compiled by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Beijing: Shangwu Yinshuguan, 1987. Useful for its reverse order.

Dictionnaire Francais de la Langue Chinoise. Compiled by L'Institut Ricci. Taipei: Institut Ricci and Kuangchi Press, 1976. Sound scholarship. Strong in traditional Chinese culture.

Han-Ying Baike Cihui Shouce. Compiled by Han-Ying Baike Cihui Shouce Compilation Group. Beijing: Hangkong Gongye Chubanshe, 1991.

Hanyu Pinyin Cihui. Revised edition. By Hanyu Pingyin Cihui Compilation Group. Beijing: Yuwen Chubanshe, 1989. A semi-official wordlist of 60,400 items compiled by members of the State Language Commission.

Huang Yen-kai. Dictionary of Chinese Idiomatic Phrases. Hong Kong: Eton Press, 1964.

Kuraishi Takeshirō. Iwanami Chūgokugo Jiten [Iwanami's Dictionary of Chinese]. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 1990.

Lai Ming and Lin Tai-yi, eds. New Lin Yutang Chinese-English Dictionary. Hong Kong: Panorama Press, 1987. Especially useful for non-PRC terminology and parts of speech.

Li, Charles and Sandra A. Thompson. Mandarin Chinese. A Functional Reference Grammar. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1981.

Li Shujuan and Yan Liyang, Chinese-English Dictionary of Modern Slang of China. Hong Kong: Haifeng Chubanshe, 1995.

Li Xingjian et al., eds. Xinci Xinyu Cidian. Beijing: Yuwen Chubanshe, 1989.

Li Zhenjie and Vivian Ling. A Dictionary of New Terms and Phrases of Contemporary China. Beijing: New World Press, 2000.

Liu Runqing et al., tr. Longman Yuyanxue Cidian. Taiyuan: Shanxi Jiaoyu Chubanshe, 1993. (Translation of Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics.)

Liu Xiyan. Han-Ying Xinci Xinyi Zidian. Changchun: Jilin Daxue Chubanshe, 1996.

Luo Zhufeng, ed. Hanyu Da Cidian. Shanghai: Hanyu Da Cidian Chubanshe 12 vols + Appendix Index, 1990.

Mathews' Chinese-English Dictionary. Revised American edition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1945.

McCawley, James D. The Eater's Guide to Chinese Characters. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984.

Modern Chinese-English Technical and General Dictionary. 3 vols. Anon. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963. Good for its extensive coverage (212,000 entries) and strict alphabetical order, but clumsy to use because transcription and characters are in separate volumes.

Shi Zhengxin and Wang Qunjing. Han-Ying Fenlei Chengyu Cidian. Hong Kong: Joint Publishing Co., 1991.

Shi Zhengxin et al., eds. Han-Ying Fenlei Chengyu Cidian. Hong Kong: Sanlian Shudian, 1991.

Su Yongchang. Yuyanxue Changyong Cihui, Ying-Han Duizhaobiao. Hong Kong Ligong Daxue, 1998.

Tong Ting Chi. Hanyu Cifa Jufa Lunji. Taipei, 1998.

Tsao Fengfu. Sentence and Clause Structure in Chinese. A Functional Perspective. Taipei: Student Book Co., 1990.

Wang Tongyi, ed. Xin Xiandai Hanyu Cidian. Hainan: Hainan Chubanshe, 1992. See next work.

Wang Tongyi, ed. Yuyan Dadian. 2 vols. Hainan: Sanhuan Chubanshe, 1990. Useful for its extensive coverage, but marred, like much of Wang Tongyi's work, by sloppy scholarship. To be used with caution. English definitions particularly unreliable.

Wei Dongya, ed. A Chinese-English Dictionary [Revised Edition]. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 1995.

Weingarner, Fredric and Paul Fu-mien Yang. Chinese Linguistic Usage 1925-1975 A Contrastive Glossary English and Chinese (in Chinese). Taipei: Student Book Co., 1985.

Wu, C.K.& K.S. Compact English-Chinese Dictionary (Yale Romanization). Third Edition. Hong Kong: Chinese Language Research Association, 1976.

Wu Guanghua, ed. Han-Ying Da Cidan. 2 vol. Shanghai: Shanghai Jiaotong University Press, 1993. Distinguished by extensive coverage (more than 220,000 entries), particularly in the sciences.

Wu Jingrong, ed. Pinyin Chinese-Dictionary. Hong Kong: Commercial Press, 1979.

Wu Jingrong and Cheng Zhenqiu, eds.New Age Chinese-English Dictionary. Beijing: Commercial Press, 2000.

Xiandai Hanyu Cidian. Compiled by Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Beijing: Shangwu Yinshuguan, 1990. First-rate scholarship, semi-authoritative.

Xiandai Hanyu Pinlü Cidian. Compiled by Beijing University Linguistic Institute. Beijing: Beijing Yuyan Xueyuan Chubanshe, 1986. Valuable source of frequency data based on a corpus of 1,800,000 characters.

Yin Binyong and Mary Felley. Chinese Romanization: Pronunciation and Orthography. Beijing: Sinolingua, 1990. Valuable for detailed application of rules of orthography.

Yu Yunxia et al., eds. Han-Ying Niyin Cidian. Beijing: Commercial Press, 1985. Useful especially for parts of speech and its reverse order.

Zhang Fanqie, ed. Far East Chinese-English Dictionary. Taipei: Far East Book Co., 1992. Careful scholarship and extensive coverage, particularly in traditional Chinese culture.

Zhang Xinglian and Zhao Shuhan. A Glossary of Chinese Archaeology. Beijing: Foreign Language Press, 1983.

Zhongguo Dabaike Quanshu, Yuyan Wenzi. Beijing: Zhongguo Dabaike Quanshu Chubanshe, 1982.

Zhongwen Shumianyu Pinlü Cidian. By Chinese Knowledge Information Processing (CKIP) Group. Taipei: Institute of Information Science, Academia Sinica, 1994. Valuable source of frequency data based on a mammoth corpus of 14,457,534 characters.

Zong Jialing., ed. Xiandai Hanyu Suolüeyu Cidian. Jinan: Qilu Shushe, 1986.

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