type of cotton twill cloth, 1943 (chinos, in reference to clothing made of this), from American Spanish chino, literally "toasted;" so called in reference to its usual color. Earlier (via notion of skin color) chino meant "child of one white parent, one Indian" (fem. china), perhaps from or altered by influence of Quechua čina "female animal, servant." Sources seem to disagree on whether the racial sense or the color sense is original.
updated on November 13, 2017