Definition of nankeen in English:


Line breaks: nan|keen
Pronunciation: /naŋˈkiːn
, nan-/


[mass noun]
1A yellowish cotton cloth: a waistcoat and knee breeches of nankeen
More example sentences
  • Back in New Haven in July 1799 the cargo of Chinese goods (tea, nankeen, silk, and porcelain) realized more than $200,000 for the investors.
  • Suspended below this, clad in blue jacket, white waistcoat and nankeen pantaloons, and waving a silk French tricolour, stood Garnerin in a small basket.
  • A waitress neatly dressed in traditional Chinese nankeen jacket at Tianle Restaurant serves ganshao luyou, spicy perch.
1.1 (nankeens) historical Trousers made of nankeen.
More example sentences
  • Gilded youths ride in the Bois, wearing yellow, brown or scarlet frockcoats and tight-fitting white nankeens.
  • Besides, a goat might butt Peregrine - tumble him, with his chaste nankeens, his sherry-colour body-coat, and his certainties into the scuppers.
  • Long-backed, thin, ‘lank as a leafless elm,’ a New England coach driver might look as though a high wind would blow him away, yet he would wear nankeens and low shoes in winter weather, and was not fragile but lusty.
1.2 archaic The yellowish-buff colour of nankeen.


mid 18th century: from the name of the city of Nanking (see Nanjing), where it was first made.

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