Main definitions of japan in US English:

: japan1Japan2



  • 1A hard, dark, enamel-like varnish containing asphalt, used to give a black gloss to metal objects.

    1. 1.1 A kind of varnish in which pigments are ground, typically used to imitate lacquer on wood.
    2. 1.2 Articles made in a Japanese style, especially when decorated with lacquer or enamel-like varnish.
      lacquer, lac, shellac, japan, enamel, glaze, polish, oil, resin, wax
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[with object]
  • Cover (something) with a hard black varnish.

    ‘the pillars are to be japanned’
    • ‘Hepplewhite is most associated with pierced and shield-back chairs often with wheels, lyres, or Prince of Wales feathers, and painted or japanned work of gold on black.’
    • ‘This black varnish was applied presumably as an element of mourning, or, as Edwards suggested, either to match japanned furniture in the room or in reaction to the blackening of the silvering by tarnishing.’
    • ‘Although birds in landscapes are frequently found on Asian lacquer, the surrounding scrolled border is typically European and suggests that the piece is japanned.’
    • ‘The red, black, and gold tones suggest lacquered or japanned decoration.’
    • ‘As a result lacquered objects, mostly Japanese, but also those japanned in Europe appear in Dutch pictures more often than has previously been thought.’
    shiny, shining, gleaming, lustrous, bright, brilliant, sparkling, shimmering, glistening, sleek, silky, silken, satiny, sheeny, smooth, glassy
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Late 17th century: from Japan.




Main definitions of japan in US English:

: japan1Japan2


proper noun

  • A country in eastern Asia that occupies a chain of islands in the Pacific Ocean roughly parallel with the eastern coast of the Asiatic mainland; population 126,600,000 (estimated 2015); capital, Tokyo; official language, Japanese.

    Japanese name Nippon

From the late 19th century Japan began a modernizing process that eventually made it into a major world power. It fought wars against China 1894–95 and Russia 1904–05, and after World War I occupied Manchuria 1931 and invaded China 1937. Japan entered World War II on the Axis side with a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The country surrendered in 1945 after the US dropped the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan is now a highly industrialized country and the leading economic power in the region