Definition of Japanese in US English:



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

    • ‘The intoxicating obscurity of ancient Japanese culture is shown to be irrational and confusing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Saito was the most prominent Japanese artist to attract attention after the war.’
    • ‘Shinto has been an established part of Japanese culture for at least 2000 years.’


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

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

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

    • ‘She speaks the equivalent of fifth grade Japanese and is in her third year of taking Mandarin.’
    • ‘So now we have a Japanese company, run by a New York-based Briton who speaks no Japanese.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Japanese shows some similarities to Korean and the Altaic languages.’