Share this entry

Share this page

yakuza

Line breaks: ya¦kuza
Pronunciation: /jəˈkuːzə
 
/

Definition of yakuza in English:

noun (plural same)

(the Yakuza)
1A powerful Japanese criminal organization.
Example sentences
  • Various kinds of people came to stay there, including members of the yakuza, and given that fact, I thought it would be foolish not to learn some kind of martial art.
  • Japanese yakuza kingpin Akatora wants him because he thinks Dinosaur took his merchandise.
  • Namie introduced her to the seedy underworld, but not the yakuza one, that being a rich teenager in Tokyo had to offer.
1.1A member of the Yakuza; a Japanese gangster or racketeer: 100,000 yakuza in Japan rake in some $10 billion a year
More example sentences
  • In another, an ageing yakuza gangster returns to a park where he used to meet his first love.
  • Moon Child is a low budget Japanese yakuza vampire sci-fi action drama.
  • So it was perhaps inevitable that he should have turned to playing a gangster - a yakuza - in his fourth film.

Origin

Japanese, from ya 'eight' + ku 'nine' + za 'three', referring to the worst hand in a gambling game.

Definition of yakuza in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

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 emulous
Pronunciation: ˈɛmjʊləs
adjective
seeking to emulate someone or something