Also found in: Thesaurus, Financial, Wikipedia.


Lumps of pure silver bearing the stamp of a banker or an assayer and formerly used in China as money.

[Cantonese sai3 si1, fine silver (literally, fine silk, so called because the pure silver can be spun into fine threads); akin to Mandarin xísī, fine silver : Mandarin , thin, fine (from Middle Chinese siaj`) + Mandarin , silk, thread (from Middle Chinese sẓ).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(saɪˈsiː) or

sycee silver

(Historical Terms) silver ingots formerly used as a medium of exchange in China
[C18: from Chinese saì sz fine silk; so called because the silver can be made into threads as fine as silk]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



fine silver in stamped ingots, formerly used in China as money.
[1705–15; < Chinese dial. (Guangdong) sai-sì silk floss]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
This money often takes the form of a sycee, which is a type of silver or gold ingot that was formerly used as currency in China.
The transmission of parcels, bank drafts, and sycee [cash] is the most lucrative part of their postal operations." The Imperial Postal Service wisely decided to supervise rather than displace these systems when it came into existence in 1896.