[ bahn-zahy, bahn-; Japanese bahn-dzah-ee ]
/ bɑnˈzaɪ, ˈbɑn-; Japanese ˈbɑnˈdzɑ i /


(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.

Nearby words

  1. bantustan,
  2. banville,
  3. banyalla,
  4. banyan,
  5. banyana banyana,
  6. banzai attack,
  7. bao,
  8. bao dai,
  9. baobab,
  10. baoding

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)

Can be confusedbanzai bonsai Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for banzai

British Dictionary definitions for banzai


/ (ˈbɑːnzaɪ, bɑːnˈzaɪ) /


a patriotic cheer, battle cry, or salutation

Word Origin for banzai

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