kamikaze

[ kah-mi-kah-zee ]
/ ˌkɑ mɪˈkɑ zi /

noun

(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.

adjective

of, pertaining to, undertaken by, or characteristic of a kamikaze: a kamikaze pilot; a kamikaze attack.

Origin of kamikaze

1940–45; < Japanese, equivalent to kami(y) god (earlier *kamui) + kaze wind (earlier *kanzai
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for kamikaze

kamikaze

/ (ˌkæmɪˈkɑːzɪ) /

noun (often capital)

(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 for kamikaze

C20: from Japanese, from kami divine + kaze wind, referring to the winds that, according to Japanese tradition, destroyed a Mongol invasion fleet in 1281
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

Culture definitions for kamikaze

kamikaze

[ (kah-muh-kah-zee) ]

Japanese fighter pilots in World War II, trained to make suicide crashes into Allied ships.

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.