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noun, plural mi·ka·dos.
  1. (sometimes initial capital letter) a title of the emperor of Japan.
  2. (initial capital letter, italics) an operetta (1885) by Sir William S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan.
  3. (initial capital letter) a steam locomotive having a two-wheeled front truck, eight driving wheels, and a two-wheeled rear truck.

Origin of mikado

1720–30; < Japanese, equivalent to mi- exalted + kado gate, door (of the imperial palace)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for mikado


noun plural -dos
  1. (often capital) archaic the Japanese emperorCompare tenno

Word Origin for mikado

C18: from Japanese, from mi- honourable + kado gate
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 mikado

1727, former title of the emperor of Japan, from mi "honorable" + kado "gate, portal." Similar to Sublime Porte, old title of the Ottoman emperor/government, and Pharaoh, which literally means "great house."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper