Definition of hutong in English:


nounhutong, hutongs

  • A narrow lane or alleyway in a traditional residential area of a Chinese city, especially Beijing.

    • ‘There are very few lights in a hutong at night.’
    • ‘Last week I visited some friends in the evening, in a tiny little hutong near the Drum Tower.’
    • ‘Outside the temple you may find some locals who will offer their rickshaw hutongs tours.’
    • ‘At the same time, extra parking lots could be provided in the vicinity of the hutongs.’
    • ‘The Courtyard, a traditional unique folk house in the hutongs, has a long history in Chinese architecture.’
    • ‘There are tens of thousands of hutongs surrounding the Forbidden City.’
    • ‘I have always lived in a hutong, a traditional Beijing alley.’
    • ‘I've gone walking in a hutong during lunch hour in spring.’
    • ‘I grew up in the old hutongs (alleyways) of Beijing.’
    • ‘Where there is a hutong, there is a story.’
    • ‘We went through a hutong or alley in Old Beijing.’
    • ‘Beside every high-rise tower still lie the hutongs, cramped alleyways of communal housing without clean water or electricity.’
    • ‘Thousands of people can live in a hutong which is made up of hundreds of quadrangular courtyards each surrounded by four homes.’
    • ‘Thus the future of the hutongs has become a lively public debate.’
    • ‘The area of dilapidated hutongs was only 800,000 square meters.’
    • ‘In the 1950s, hutongs covered 11 million square metres.’
    • ‘Among people living in the same hutong there exists a very special degree of familiarity.’
    • ‘On October 16, he became perhaps Beijing's oldest resident to take the plunge into business, opening a little shop in a hutong just behind Qianmen.’
    • ‘We met Shen Mai, or Snow Plum Blossom, a young woman in her early 30s who has lived in the same house in the same hutong all her life.’
    • ‘The gradual decline of the hutongs was furthered in the period 1974-86 by the construction of tall buildings on company premises in the courtyards, replacing many old houses.’


Chinese hútòng, probably from Mongolian gudum.