Share this entry

sansei Line breaks: san¦sei
Pronunciation: /ˈsanseɪ/

Definition of sansei in English:

noun (plural same)

North American
An American or Canadian whose grandparents were immigrants from Japan. Compare with nisei and issei.
Example sentences
  • Besides the chief instructor, most of the senior students were nisei or sansei and several of them had moved to California from Hawaii where they had earlier begun their aikido training.
  • My grandchildren will be American sansei in Japan, unless one of my children or their children has children with someone of yet another nationality and so carries on that grand wandering that is native to the human family.
  • As a sansei, a third-generation Japanese American, she sees no need to qualify her work as Asian American or Asian at all.


1940s: Japanese, from san 'third' + sei 'generation'.

Definition of sansei in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈduːfʌs
a stupid person