[ jap-uh-neez, -nees ]

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Japan, its people, or their language.

noun,plural Jap·a·nese.
  1. Often Offensive. a native or inhabitant of Japan or a person of Japanese descent. : See Usage note at the current entry.

  2. the language of Japan. Abbreviation: Japn., Japn

Origin of Japanese

First recorded in 1580–90; Japan + -ese

usage note For Japanese

In the past, the word Japanese has been used as a noun to describe a person or people (the store owner is a Japanese ). This usage is dated and often considered offensive today.

Other words from Japanese

  • an·ti-Jap·a·nese, adjective, noun, plural an·ti-Jap·a·nese.
  • non-Jap·an·ese, adjective, noun, plural non-Jap·an·ese.
  • pro-Jap·a·nese, adjective, noun, plural pro-Jap·a·nese.
  • pseu·do-Jap·a·nese, adjective, noun, plural pseu·do-Jap·a·nese.
  • qua·si-Jap·a·nese, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Japanese in a sentence

  • The society gives wonderful banquets and yammers away about the Brotherhood of Man and sends out pro-Japanese propaganda.

    The Pride of Palomar | Peter B. Kyne
  • Bitterly anti-Kuomintang, the author became pro-Japanese in the autumn of 1937.

    Government in Republican China | Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger
  • This party was pro-Japanese and was accepting loans from Japan.

    The Problem of China | Bertrand Russell
  • Pro-Japanese apologetics is dangerous; it obscures the realities of the situation.

British Dictionary definitions for Japanese


/ (ˌdʒæpəˈniːz) /

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Japan, its people, or their language

  1. plural -nese a native or inhabitant of Japan or a descendant of one

  2. the official language of Japan: the native language of approximately 100 million people: considered by some scholars to be part of the Altaic family of languages

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