Origin of ronin

From the Japanese word rōnin literally, ‘wave man’ (understood as ‘a man tossed around like a wave’) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ronin

Historical Examples of ronin

  • Thus the forty-seven ronin were pre-eminently "righteous" when they debauched themselves with every swinish vice.

  • Born about 1680 he, by birth a Samurai, became a Ronin, and entered the studio of Kiyonobu.

    Chats on Japanese Prints

    Arthur Davison Ficke

  • And the reason she built the temple was that she might pray for the soul of the ronin whom the sight of her beauty had ruined.

  • We should have the story of the Forty-seven Ronin, not a Japanese stage version, but a work from the source-material.

British Dictionary definitions for ronin


noun Japanese history
  1. a lordless samurai, esp one whose feudal lord had been deprived of his territory
  2. such samurai collectively

Word Origin for ronin

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 ronin

"masterless man, outcast, outlaw," 1871, from Japanese, from ro "wave" + nin "man."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper