Definition of banzai in English:

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banzai

Pronunciation: /ˈbanzī/

exclamation

1A Japanese battle cry.
Early 20th century
2A form of greeting used to the Japanese emperor.
Late 19th century
Example sentences
  • Some 500 supporters greeted Lee on his arrival by waving Taiwan's national flag and the ‘Hinomaru,’ or Japanese flag, while carrying welcome banners and chanting ‘Banzai, banzai!’
  • From the simplest (a hearty cry of skäl in Sweden or banzai in Japan) to the winding, poetic, hour-long toasts that briefly came into vogue in Ireland, it has been a long time since the hunting gods took any pleasure in the practice.

adjective

(Especially of Japanese troops) attacking fiercely and recklessly: a banzai charge
More example sentences
  • A few miles up the track lies Mt Austen, where the Japanese defended their most important command post with suicidal banzai counter-attacks.
  • They resorted to one last desperate banzai mission that was put down without much of a struggle.
  • The emperor overrode his military, who wanted a banzai suicide last battle, and broadcast their unconditional surrender.

Origin

Japanese, literally 'ten thousand years (of life to you)'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ban·zai

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