noun Japanese History.

the designation of the period of the reign of Emperor Mutsuhito from 1868 to 1912.

Origin of Meiji

1870–75; < Japanese meiji, earlier meidi enlightened peace < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese míng bright + zhì pacify Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for meiji

Contemporary Examples of meiji

  • One was a 19-year-old student at Meiji University and the other a 28-year old man in Fukuoka Prefecture.

    The Daily Beast logo
    ‘I Will Commit a Massacre’

    Jake Adelstein, Nathalie-Kyoko Stucky

    February 25, 2013

Historical Examples of meiji

  • In Japan the present year is the 42nd of Meiji, that is, the 42nd of the present Emperor's reign.

  • The 11th of February in the 22d year of Meiji saw the promulgation of the imperial Constitution.



  • The next letter is dated June 27th, '92, 25th year of Meiji.

    Lafcadio Hearn

    Nina H. Kennard

  • The restoration of the Meiji had ended the age of feudalism, at least on the surface.

  • Nearly all the prominent philosophers of the Meiji era may be classed under some branch of German idealism.

British Dictionary definitions for meiji



Japanese history the reign of Emperor Mutsuhito (1867–1912), during which Japan began a rapid process of Westernization, industrialization, and expansion in foreign affairs
the throne name of Mutsuhito (ˌmuːtsʊˈhiːtəʊ). 1852–1912, emperor of Japan (1867–1912)

Word Origin for Meiji

Japanese, from Chinese ming enlightened + dji government
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 meiji


"period of rule of emperor Mutsuhito" (1868-1912), which was marked by modernization and Westernization, 1873, from Japanese, literally "enlightened government."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper