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1. (in the Chinese Empire) a member of any of the nine ranks of public officials, each distinguished by a particular kind of button worn on the cap.
2. (cap.) the standard Chinese language.
3. (cap.) a northern Chinese dialect, esp. as spoken in and around Beijing.
4. a small, spiny citrus tree, Citrus reticulata, native to China, bearing lance-shaped leaves and flattish, orange-yellow to deep-orange loose-skinned fruit, some varieties of which are called tangerines.
5. any of several plants belonging to the genus Disporum or Streptopus, of the lily family, as S. roseus (rose mandarin) or D. lanuginosum (yellow mandarin), having drooping flowers and red berries.
6. an influential or powerful government official or bureaucrat.
7. a member of an elite or powerful group or class, as in intellectual or cultural milieus: the mandarins of the art world.

1. of or pertaining to a mandarin or mandarins.
2. elegantly refined, as in language or taste.

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