[bahn-zahy, bahn-; Japanese bahn-dzah-ee]
- (used as a Japanese patriotic cry or joyous shout.)
- (used as a Japanese battle cry.)
- leading to likely or inevitable death; suicidal: a banzai attack by Japanese troops in the last days of World War II.
Origin of banzai
1890–95; < Japanese, equivalent to ban ten thousand + -zai, combining form of sai years of age (< Middle Chinese, akin to Chinese wàn-suì, Korean manse)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for banzai
Some said they heard a voice reply 'Banzai,' some heard nothing.Chatterbox, 1906
Here the General was interrupted by a soul-stirring shout of “Banzai!”Under the Ensign of the Rising Sun
His reason was all gone, yet he did not forget to shout Banzai for his Fatherland.Human Bullets
The signal was greeted with enthusiasm and loud cries of "Banzai!"Banzai!
Ferdinand Heinrich Grautoff
Some Japanese regiments, in attacking our positions, threw themselves with the cry of "Banzai!"
- a patriotic cheer, battle cry, or salutation
Japanese: literally, (may you live for) ten thousand years
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for banzai
Japanese war-cry, 1893, literally "(may you live) ten thousand years," originally a greeting addressed to the emperor, from ban "ten thousand" + sai "year."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper