Main meanings of tai in English

: tai1Tai2


Pronunciation /tʌɪ/

nounplural noun tai

  • A deep red-brown Pacific sea bream, eaten as a delicacy in Japan.

    Pagrus major, family Sparidae

    ‘The dorsal lobe of the sturgeon tai does not lead during the tail beat, and the tail is extremely flexible.’
    • ‘The sea bream, or tai, is a favored dish for celebratory occasions in Japan and a commonly invoked emblem of good fortune.’
    • ‘The sea bream, or tai in Japanese, carries auspicious connotations because of the phonetic association of its name with the Japanese word for congratulations (medetai).’


Early 17th century from Japanese.

Main meanings of Tai in English

: tai1Tai2


Pronunciation /tʌɪ/


  • Relating to or denoting a family of tonal SE Asian languages, including Thai and Lao, of uncertain affinity to other language groups (sometimes being linked with the Sino-Tibetan family).

    ‘Lao belongs to the Tai family of languages and is related to Thai, but Lao has its own alphabet and numbers.’
    • ‘This essay focuses on three groups of townspeople who speak languages that belong to the Tai language family.’
    • ‘It is widely used by speakers of other Tai languages and is a second language for most other people.’