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From clippings of attributive use of China, q.v., the country in East Asia. In reference to porcelain and porcelain objects, via clipping of china-ware and via this sense of Persian ??? (ch?n?) in Persia and India, the latter of which formerly led to the upper-class British pronunciation /?t?e?n?/ and dialectical British pronunciation /?t?i?n?/. In reference to medicine, via clipping of China root. In reference to flowers, via clipping of China rose. In reference to tea, via clipping of China tea. In Cockney slang, a clipping of china plate as a rhyme of mate (“friend”). In reference to drum cymbals, a clipping of China cymbal and as a genericization of a kind of Zildjian-brand cymbal.
china (countable and uncountable, plural chinas)
- (uncountable) Synonym of porcelain, a hard white translucent ceramic made from kaolin, now (chiefly US) sometimes distinguished in reference to tableware as fine or good china.
- (uncountable) Chinaware: porcelain tableware.
- (uncountable, chiefly US, dated) Cheaper and lower-quality ceramic and ceramic tableware, distinguished from porcelain.
- (uncountable) Synonym of China root, the root of Smilax china (particularly) as a medicine.
- (uncountable, obsolete) Synonym of cheyney: worsted or woolen stuff.
- (countable) Synonym of China rose, in its various senses.
- (countable, Cockney rhyming slang, Australia, South Africa) Synonym of friend.
- (uncountable, dated) Tea from China, (particularly) varieties cured by smoking or opposed to Indian cultivars.
- (countable, games, chiefly US, obsolete) A glazed china marble.
- (countable, music) A kind of drum cymbal approximating a Chinese style of cymbal, but usually with Turkish influences.