Definition of kiasu in English:

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kiasu

Pronunciation: /ˈkiːəsuː/
SE Asian

noun

A grasping, selfish attitude: I should have gone two hours earlier: the kiasu in me is growing

adjective

(Of a person) very anxious not to miss an opportunity; grasping.
Example sentences
  • Despite the generally negative connotation of kiasu behaviour, there is also a positive side to it, one which surfaces as diligence and hard work in order to be on top of any situation.
  • I think many of the rural people are complex, too shy, too kind to have this kiasu drive.
  • Alas, we didn't get to make it in the end because we weren't kiasu enough.

Origin

From Chinese, 'scared to lose'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: kiasu

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