Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: Xiao, xiāo, xiáo, xiǎo, and xiào


Wikipedia has articles on:

Etymology 1[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:
a type of xiao flute

Borrowing from Mandarin (xiāo).


xiao (plural xiaos)

  1. A type of Chinese flute.
    • 2006, Peter M. Chang, Chou Wen-Chung: The Life and Work of a Contemporary Chinese-born American Composer:
      Chou studied violin and erhu (a two-stringed Chinese fiddle) and tried to emulate his second brother by dabbling in the harmonica, mandolin, xiao (a vertical Chinese flute), and the musical saw.


Etymology 2[edit]

Borrowed from Mandarin (xiǎo).


xiao (not comparable)

  1. (fiction) (Can we verify(+) this sense?) signifying a little one, junior, small guy, younger person. Usually is attached to a name

Usage notes[edit]

In Chinese-language fiction translated into English, to add a Chinese flavour (Mandarin language), some translators leave the term "xiao" untranslated, left in unaccented pinyin. This practice is similar to not translating "sifu" or "sensei"/"-san" in English-language Cantonese and Japanese fiction respectively.





  1. Nonstandard spelling of xiāo.
  2. Nonstandard spelling of xiáo.
  3. Nonstandard spelling of xiǎo.
  4. Nonstandard spelling of xiào.

Usage notes[edit]

  • English transcriptions of Mandarin speech often fail to distinguish between the critical tonal differences employed in the Mandarin language, using words such as this one without the appropriate indication of tone.