Definition of zaibatsu in US English:



  • A large Japanese business conglomerate.

    • ‘In that period, the four zaibatsu conglomerates tripled their total assets.’
    • ‘Among many things the South Koreans have emulated, the institution of the Japanese zaibatsu conglomerates is probably one of the most important.’
    • ‘Japanese workers, in contrast to the zaibatsu, were in no position to wait out the crisis.’
    • ‘Like the 1980s partnership of Japan's zaibatsu and its Ministry of International Trade and Finance, this arrangement allows the Chinese to do extraordinary things in no time flat.’
    corporation, combine, group, grouping, consortium, partnership, joint concern, trust, merger, merged businesses, merged companies, merged firms
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Japanese, from zai ‘wealth’ + batsu ‘clique’.