- (during World War II) a member of a special corps in the Japanese air force charged with the suicidal mission of crashing an aircraft laden with explosives into an enemy target, especially a warship.
- an airplane used for this purpose.
- a person or thing that behaves in a wildly reckless or destructive manner: We were nearly run down by a kamikaze on a motorcycle.
- of, pertaining to, undertaken by, or characteristic of a kamikaze: a kamikaze pilot; a kamikaze attack.
Origin of kamikaze
Examples from the Web for kamikaze
Rubio blew it with immigration, and as for Cruz, I think even most Republicans see that that would be a kamikaze mission.Christie and the 7 Dwarves
February 5, 2014
One can only dream, then, of the kamikaze damage Newt can inflict if he keeps his promise to continue fighting to the convention.Florida Primary: Why Liberals Should Cheer for Newt Gingrich
February 1, 2012
Following the debate, the Romney campaign blasted Gingrich for his vengeful “kamikaze mission.”‘Bad Newt’ Is Back at Sunday’s New Hampshire Debate
January 8, 2012
He talks to Lennox Samuels about radiation fears and why this wasn't a kamikaze mission.A Japanese Firefighter Talks Surviving the Nuclear Reactors
April 3, 2011
Nicole Richie was recently rear-ended by a kamikaze cameraman so hard that she went to the hospital.The Do-Nothing Paparazzi Law
February 25, 2010
It had been kamikaze stuff, though there'd been a theoretical chance of the thirty men escaping, to justify sending them out.A Matter of Proportion
He had some of the characteristics of a kamikaze pilot, too, because there was no telling if he'd get back from his mission.The Inhabited
- (in World War II) one of a group of Japanese pilots who performed suicidal missions by crashing their aircraft, loaded with explosives, into an enemy target, esp a ship
- an aircraft used for such a mission
- (modifier) (of an action) undertaken or (of a person) undertaking an action in the knowledge that it will result in the death of the person performing it in order that maximum damage may be inflicted on an enemya kamikaze attack; a kamikaze bomber
- (modifier) extremely foolhardy and possibly self-defeatingkamikaze pricing
Word Origin and History for kamikaze
"suicide flier," 1945, Japanese, literally "divine wind," from kami "god, providence, divine" (see kami) + kaze "wind." Originally the name given in folklore to a typhoon which saved Japan from Mongol invasion by wrecking Kublai Khan's fleet (August 1281). The attacks began in October 1944 off the Philippines.
As an aside, at war's end, the Japanese had, by actual count, a total of 16,397 aircraft still available for service, including 6,374 operational fighters and bombers, and if they had used only the fighters and bombers for kamikaze missions, they might have realized, additionally, 900 ships sunk or damaged and 22,000 sailors killed or injured. In fact, however, the Japanese had outfitted many aircraft, including trainers, as potential suicide attackers. As intelligence estimates indicated, the Japanese believed they could inflict at least 50,000 casualties to an invasion force by kamikaze attacks alone. [Richard P. Hallion, "Military Technology and the Pacific War," 1995]
As an adjective by 1946.
Japanese fighter pilots in World War II, trained to make suicide crashes into Allied ships.