or ni·sei

[ nee-sey, nee-sey ]
/ ˈni seɪ, niˈseɪ /

noun, plural Ni·sei.

a person of Japanese descent, born and educated in the U.S. or Canada.


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Compare Issei, Kibei, Sansei.

Origin of Nisei

1940–45, Americanism; < Japanese: literally, second generation; earlier ni-seĩ < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese èr two, second + shēng birth Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for nisei

/ (ˈniːseɪ) /


a native-born citizen of the United States or Canada whose parents were Japanese immigrants

Word Origin for Nisei

Japanese, literally: second generation
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

Cultural definitions for nisei

[ (nee-say, nee-say) ]

Persons whose parents were born in Japan but who were themselves born outside Japan. Many Nisei were moved by force in the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II.

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.