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


English Wikipedia has articles on:

Wikipedia en

Etymology 1[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia en

a type of xiao flute

From Mandarin xiāo (hsiao; ; ; ㄒㄧㄠ; [ɕi̯ɑ́ʊ̯])


xiao ‎(plural xiaos)

  1. Type of Chinese flute.


Etymology 2[edit]

From Mandarin xiǎo (hsiao; ; ㄒㄧㄠˇ; )


xiao ‎(not comparable)

  1. (fiction) 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.