Definition of sudoku in English:



  • A puzzle in which players insert the numbers one to nine into a grid consisting of nine squares subdivided into a further nine smaller squares in such a way that every number appears once in each horizontal line, vertical line, and square.

    • ‘Harriet, now thoroughly embarrassed shuffled her feet and said, ‘Anything in the news? Usually I just buy the paper for the sudoku's.’’
    • ‘It seems likely to do just that as a social barometer of genuine historical value that records everything from the British public's reactions to regional accents to the history of sudoku.’
    • ‘Ive tried and solved my first sudoku yesterday, and have been doing some this morning.’
    • ‘Martin Love may have scored the first half of his innings mostly in boundaries yesterday, but in the intervening period between his 47th and 48th runs, a woman in the crowd completed four pages of sudoku puzzles.’
    • ‘Yet coming up from Bristol by train I did The Times easy sudoku in about ten minutes, and got well into the prize one, far further than I have ever got with your allegedly easy sudoku.’
    • ‘I guess the most basic difference is that sudoku is a puzzle of logic - not a puzzle of esoteric knowledge and literate playfulness.’
    • ‘Mental stimulation can come in many guises - crosswords, sudoku, scrabble and bridge, to name but a few.’
    • ‘I introduced the son and heir to sudoku on a train the other evening.’
    • ‘In Britain, a sudoku book is a bestseller and national newspapers are competing feverishly to publish the most, and the most fiendish, puzzles.’
    • ‘Co-blogger, Neil will be pleased to know that he was the very first person that I had ever seen doing a sudoku puzzle (that was only at the beginning of May!)’
    • ‘It's called sudoku, which I believe is Japansese for ‘we will suck you into the vortex of seemingly simple ciphers and your life will no longer be your own.’’
    • ‘Apparently, in November 2004, The Times of London began printing sudoku puzzles.’
    • ‘Dan fears that sudoku will take over his life, following his initiation through an Economist article.’
    • ‘A few weeks ago, I printed up some sudoku puzzles and brought them with me to Cambridge Common.’
    • ‘Already more popular than sudoku in Japan, this number grid puzzle is described as the mathematical equivalent of crosswords.’
    • ‘If prowess at the game comes down to memorising a list of meaningless two and three letter words that are only barely considered English, then the language itself becomes secondary, in which case why not play flipping sudoku?’
    • ‘I have become a whizz at sudoku which is suddenly everywhere.’
    • ‘So I was doing some sudoku the other day when I noticed the similarity to John Dee's Enochian tables, and magic squares in general.’
    • ‘Despite the backing, despite the precedence of a national championships since 2005, and despite the huge national phenomenon, sudoku is just not a sport.’
    • ‘Elsewhere in the media sector, members of the Thomson family behind Beano publisher DC Thomson are in advanced talks to buy Puzzler Media, the group that owns a number of sudoku magazines.’


Early 21st century: from Japanese Sūdoku, from sū- (in sūji number) + -doku (in dokushin single status), elements of the puzzle's former name.