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Dictionary Suite
acupuncture a traditional Chinese practice of pricking certain parts of the body with fine needles to relieve pain or cure disease. [1/2 definitions]
bamboo curtain (sometimes cap.) a barrier to trade and diplomacy, based on ideological and political differences, that formerly existed between the People's Republic of China and the West, attributed by the latter to the secrecy and censorship practiced by the Chinese. (Cf. iron curtain.)
Boxer a member of a Chinese secret society that in 1900 tried unsuccessfully to oust foreigners from the country.
Cantonese the Chinese language spoken in the region of Guangzhou and in Hong Kong. [1/3 definitions]
celestial (cap.) of or pertaining to the former Chinese Empire or to Chinese people. [2/6 definitions]
cheongsam a fitted Chinese dress having a high neck, usu. short sleeves, and side slits to the thighs.
chi2 vital energy that, according to Taoist and other Chinese philosophies, is inherent in all things and whose free and balanced flow around the body is the basis of good health.
Chinatown any neighborhood or region inhabited by Chinese in a foreign city.
Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 an act signed into law in 1882 that barred Chinese laborers from immigrating to the U.S. for a period of ten years and, in addition, prohibited all Chinese immigrants from becoming naturalized citizens. Immigrants from China were not permitted naturalized citizenship until 1943.
Chink (offensive slang) a Chinese person.
chinoiserie (sometimes cap.) an intricate, elaborate style of decoration using Chinese motifs, esp. in eighteenth-century Europe. [1/2 definitions]
chop suey a Chinese-American dish of bean sprouts, other vegetables, and small bits of meat, chicken, or fish cooked and poured over rice.
chow2 a stocky, medium-sized dog of Chinese origin that has a thick red or black coat, a blackish tongue, and a tail that curls over the back.
chow mein a Chinese-American dish of stewed bean sprouts, other vegetables, and bits of chicken, seafood, or meat, poured over fried noodles.
Confucius a Chinese philosopher whose ethical teachings were introduced into Chinese religion; K'ung Fu-tzu (551?-479? B.C.).
dawn redwood a Chinese tree, cultivated in the United States, that resembles the redwood and bears cones but has deciduous twigs and needles.
dim sum any of various Chinese dishes served in appetizer portions, esp. small dumplings filled with minced vegetables, meat, or seafood and steamed or fried, or a variety of such dishes served together.
feng shui the Chinese art of creating harmony in one's environment through placement of objects in a building or in space generally such that the natural flow and balance of chi, or vital energy, is maintained.
fortune cookie a hollow Chinese cookie made from a folded circle of thin dough, containing a slip of paper with a proverb, prediction, or the like.
hoisin sauce a sweet rich dark sauce of fermented rice, soy beans, vinegar, and seasonings, used esp. in or on Chinese dishes.
Hong Kong a region of southeast China containing Hong Kong Island as well as many other islands and the adjacent mainland. Hong Kong was a British colony from the 1840s until 1997 when it was reverted to Chinese rule as a "Special Administrative Region." While it is a part of China and controlled by the Chinese government on all matters related to defense and foreign affairs, Hong Kong operates with a great deal of autonomy, with its own legal system, police force, immigration policy, and currency.