Definition of Sinitic in English:


Pronunciation /səˈnidik/ /səˈnɪdɪk/


  • Relating to or denoting the division of the Sino-Tibetan language family that includes the many forms of spoken Chinese.

    ‘Not to do so will only lead to costly inefficiency for all users of Sinitic language materials.’
    • ‘Among Sinitic languages, there are at least seven or eight major branches that are mutually unintelligible.’
    • ‘One of the unique features of the Sinitic languages is the quality of sound used to designate differences in meanings between words or syllables.’
    • ‘The introduction provides an up-to-date description of Sinitic languages in terms of history and geography, placing the goals of the volume into perspective.’
    • ‘Southeast Asian governments have promoted national languages at the expense of Chinese-medium education, thus eroding one important base for the continuation of Sinitic culture in overseas Chinese communities.’


Late 19th century via late Latin from Greek sinai ‘the Chinese’, from Arabic ṣīn, denoting the Chinese empire.