Definition of Japanese in English:



  • Relating to Japan or its language, culture, or people.

    • ‘It is reputed in Japanese culture that noisy eating is a compliment to the cook.’
    • ‘The Japanese language includes sharply divergent styles of speech for men and women.’
    • ‘Shinto has been an established part of Japanese culture for at least 2000 years.’
    • ‘Saito was the most prominent Japanese artist to attract attention after the war.’
    • ‘The intoxicating obscurity of ancient Japanese culture is shown to be irrational and confusing.’


  • 1A native or inhabitant of Japan, or a person of Japanese descent.

    • ‘With the yen depreciating against the dollar, the Japanese have been looking for something more secure.’
    • ‘Americans make up the second largest expat population in Shanghai after the Japanese.’
    • ‘We were all celebrating the victory over the Japanese in the last war.’
    • ‘Often the Japanese have been happy just to sell us the latest gizmo.’
    • ‘Apart from the American Indians, the Japanese make some use of lily bulbs in traditional dishes.’
    • ‘It took them three hours to get to the Longhua Airport, used as an air force base for the Japanese.’
    • ‘Unlike the Belgians, Americans and Japanese, the British have no heritage of adult comic books.’
    • ‘We mean no disrespect to those asking the Germans or Japanese for compensation.’
    • ‘Gold Coaster Roma Blair has come a long way from her days as a prisoner of war interned by the Japanese.’
    • ‘We visited all the famous places and battled with the Japanese for the best photography spots.’
  • 2mass noun The language of Japan, spoken by almost all of its population.

    • ‘The speeches will be in English, but questions will be invited in Japanese or English.’
    • ‘The firm already has machine translation from English to Japanese, and Japanese to English.’
    • ‘So now we have a Japanese company, run by a New York-based Briton who speaks no Japanese.’
    • ‘She speaks the equivalent of fifth grade Japanese and is in her third year of taking Mandarin.’
    • ‘Japanese shows some similarities to Korean and the Altaic languages.’

Probably related to Korean, Japanese has many Chinese loanwords, and is usually written in vertical columns using Chinese characters (kanji) supplemented by two sets of syllabic characters (kana)