[ tahy-koon ]
/ taɪˈkun /


a person of great wealth, influence, or power; magnate: a business tycoon; a political tycoon.
(often initial capital letter) a title used with reference to the shogun of Japan.

Nearby words

  1. tychism,
  2. tycho,
  3. tycho brahe,
  4. tychonic system,
  5. tychy,
  6. tydeus,
  7. tyee,
  8. tygart,
  9. tying,
  10. tyke

Origin of tycoon

1855–60; < Japanese taikun < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese great + jūn prince

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for tycoon


/ (taɪˈkuːn) /


a business man of great wealth and power
an archaic name for a shogun

Word Origin for tycoon

C19: from Japanese taikun, from Chinese ta great + chün ruler

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 tycoon



1857, title given by foreigners to the shogun of Japan (said to have been used by his supporters when addressing foreigners, as an attempt to convey that the shogun was more important than the emperor), from Japanese taikun "great lord or prince," from Chinese tai "great" + kiun "lord." Transferred meaning "important person" is attested from 1861, in reference to U.S. president Abraham Lincoln (in Hay's diary); specific application to "businessman" is post-World War I.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for tycoon


Someone who has made a fortune in business, such as Cornelius Vanderbilt.

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.