[ an-uh-mey ]
/ ˈæn əˌmeɪ /


a Japanese style of motion-picture animation, characterized by highly stylized, colorful art, futuristic settings, violence, and sexuality.

Nearby words

  1. animatism,
  2. animato,
  3. animator,
  4. animatronic,
  5. animatronics,
  6. animis opibusque parati,
  7. animism,
  8. animosity,
  9. animus,
  10. animé

Origin of anime

1985–90; < Japanese, borrowing of English animation Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for anime

British Dictionary definitions for anime


/ (ˈænɪˌmeɪ) /


a type of Japanese animated film with themes and styles similar to manga comics

Word Origin for anime

C20: from Japanese


/ (ˈænɪˌmeɪ, -mɪ) /


any of various resins, esp that obtained from the tropical American leguminous tree Hymenaea courbaril

Word Origin for animé

French: of uncertain origin


/ (ˈænɪˌmeɪ) /

adjective, adverb

music the French word for animato
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 anime



c.1985, Japanese for "animation," a term that seems to have arisen in the 1970s, apparently based on French animé "animated, lively, roused," from the same root as English animate (adj.). Probably taken into Japanese from a phrase such as dessin animé "cartoon," literally "animated design," with the adjective abstracted or mistaken, due to its position, as a noun.

Manga (q.v.) is Japanese for "comic book, graphic novel," but anime largely are based on manga and until 1970s, anime were known in Japan as manga eiga or "TV manga." The two terms are somewhat confused in English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper