Definition of banzai in English:

banzai

exclamation

  • 1A Japanese battle cry.

    ‘the courtyard echoed to shouts of ‘Bombs away!’ and ‘Banzai!’’
  • 2A form of greeting used to the Japanese emperor.

    • ‘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

  • 1(especially of troops) attacking fiercely and recklessly.

    ‘a banzai charge’
    • ‘They resorted to one last desperate banzai mission that was put down without much of a struggle.’
    • ‘Company A beat off several banzai attacks but was bypassed and in danger of being cut off and surrounded.’
    • ‘The emperor overrode his military, who wanted a banzai suicide last battle, and broadcast their unconditional surrender.’
    • ‘Then, before dawn on 29 May, they launched one of the biggest banzai charges of the war which overran two command posts and a medical station before being halted.’
    • ‘A few miles up the track lies Mt Austen, where the Japanese defended their most important command post with suicidal banzai counter-attacks.’
    1. 1.1informal Behaving wildly; berserk.
      ‘the computers went banzai’
      • ‘On first sight it doesn't appear to be a technical circuit, it's all banzai, maximum attack and aggression over the kerbs.’
      • ‘The proof of this already lies with the Evolution VII, which is heavier, more fuel efficient, more refined and reportedly less banzai than its predecessor.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

banzai

/banˈzʌɪ/