[ gey-shuh, gee- ]
/ ˈgeɪ ʃə, ˈgi- /

noun, plural gei·sha, gei·shas.

a Japanese woman trained as a professional singer, dancer, and companion for men.

Nearby words

  1. geiger-müller tube,
  2. geikie,
  3. geikie, sir archibald,
  4. geisel,
  5. geisel, theodor seuss,
  6. geissler tube,
  7. geist,
  8. geitonogamy,
  9. gel,
  10. gel diffusion precipitin test

Origin of geisha

1890–95; < Japanese, equivalent to gei arts (< Chinese) + -sha person (< Chin) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for geisha

British Dictionary definitions for geisha


/ (ˈɡeɪʃə) /

noun plural -sha or -shas

a professional female companion for men in Japan, trained in music, dancing, and the art of conversation

Word Origin for geisha

C19: from Japanese, from gei art + sha person, from Ancient Chinese ngi and che

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 geisha



1887, "Japanese girl whose profession is to sing and dance to entertain men;" hence, loosely, "prostitute," from Japanese, literally "person accomplished in the social arts," from gei "art, performance" + sha "person." Cf. almah, and Athenian auletrides "flute-girls," female musicians who entertained guests at a symposium with music at the start of the party and sex at the end of it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for geisha


[ (gay-shuh, gee-shuh) ]

A Japanese woman who is trained and paid to provide entertainment and amusing company for men.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.