Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A long dress with a high collar and slit skirt, traditionally worn by Chinese women.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A long formal dress-like garment worn by Asian men, the equivalent of a woman’s qipao. In Hong Kong, the cheongsam is also worn by women.

Etymologies

Chinese (Cantonese) ch'eūng shaam, long gown, equivalent to Chinese (Mandarin) cháng, long + Chinese (Mandarin) shān, gown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Cantonese 長衫 (cheongsam, "long dress") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • With its mandarin collar, snug fit and side slit, the qipao -- called a cheongsam in Cantonese -- is no longer daily wear, but it lives on as a look for special occasions.

    The Qipao Keeps Up

  • “Some girls had their qi pao custom-made, and some bought them from stores,” Crystal said, calling the cheongsam by its Mandarin name.

    American Chinatown

  • It's so expensive that I think a full-skirted dress is out of the question ... and, although it's heavy silk, I think a cheongsam might be a little obvious.

    July 2007

  • Chinese Kung Fu suit and Chinese Dress also called cheongsam or qipao are the soul of traditional Chinese Clothing.

    Secret Lives of Dresses Update - A Dress A Day

  • ALBANY -- Bright red will be splashed across traditional Chinese garments, including the long floral print dress known as cheongsam, and it will festoon a sold-out, 982-seat Kitty Carlisle Hart Theatre at the Egg during a Chinese New Year celebration tonight.

    timesunion.com: Local Breaking News

  • Chinese dresses, also known as cheongsam (or qipao), is the classic dress of China, reflecting the traditional elegance and authentic look of the East.

    TravelPod.com TravelStream™ — Recent Entries at TravelPod.com

  • The dress is called a cheongsam, and the woman wearing it is Catherine Lim, 67, arguably the most vivid personality in strait-laced Singapore and, when she is not writing witty romantic novels or telling ghost stories, one of the government's most acute critics.

    SARA - Southeast Asian RSS Aggregator

  • A gallery of girls illustrated wearing the most charming of Chinese female attire, variously called the cheongsam, 旗袍 ...

    Anime Nano!

  • Someone should tell the folks at Shrimpton Couture that "cheongsam" does not equal "geisha."

    Isn't It Madness? - A Dress A Day

  • Or is Louis Vuitton still banking on Asia's colonial mentality and Asians' aspiration for white skin and blond hair to sell its cheongsam heavy and panda printed collection?

    Blue Carreon: Is This the Time of the Asian Model?

Comments

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  • “This dress combines an Asian silhouette with a pheasant pattern printed on linen. ‘There were some lovely cigarette advertisements from the time, where you see the traditional cheongsam being Westernized,’ Ms. Martin said. ‘All those influences came together to make that dress.’�?

    The New York Times, The Look of ‘Australia’, by Eric Wilson, October 31, 2008

    November 27, 2008