mandarin

Use the noun mandarin when you're talking about a powerful member of a government, company, or cultural group. In other words, don't mess with the mandarin.

You can use mandarin to mean "bureaucrat," or an official who tends to make things complicated and who wields a lot of power. Another kind of mandarin is a respected cultural or academic figure: "My favorite philosophy professor is considered a mandarin on campus." Mandarin with a capital "M" refers to the language spoken in China. Originally, this word meant simply "Chinese official," from the Hindi root word mantrī, "counselor."

Definitions of mandarin
  1. noun
    a high public official of imperial China
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    type of:
    Chinese
    a native or inhabitant of Communist China or of Nationalist China
  2. noun
    any high government official or bureaucrat
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    type of:
    functionary, official
    a worker who holds or is invested with an office
  3. noun
    a member of an elite intellectual or cultural group
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    type of:
    elitist
    someone who believes in rule by an elite group
  4. noun
    a somewhat flat reddish-orange loose skinned citrus of China
    synonyms: mandarin orange
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    types:
    clementine
    a mandarin orange of a deep reddish orange color and few seeds
    satsuma
    medium-sized largely seedless mandarin orange with thin smooth skin
    tangerine
    any of various deep orange mandarins grown in the United States and southern Africa
    type of:
    citrous fruit, citrus, citrus fruit
    any of numerous fruits of the genus Citrus having thick rind and juicy pulp; grown in warm regions
  5. noun
    shrub or small tree having flattened globose fruit with very sweet aromatic pulp and thin yellow-orange to flame-orange rind that is loose and easily removed; native to southeastern Asia
    synonyms: Citrus reticulata, mandarin orange, mandarin orange tree
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    types:
    tangerine, tangerine tree
    a variety of mandarin orange
    clementine, clementine tree
    a variety of mandarin orange that is grown around the Mediterranean and in South Africa
    satsuma, satsuma tree
    a variety of mandarin orange
    type of:
    citrus, citrus tree
    any of numerous tropical usually thorny evergreen trees of the genus Citrus having leathery evergreen leaves and widely cultivated for their juicy edible fruits having leathery aromatic rinds
Word Family