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

Examples from the Web for banzai

Historical Examples of banzai

British Dictionary definitions for banzai



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