Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A Japanese battle cry or patriotic cheer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Thrill-seeking; wild.
  • interj. A cry or cheer of enthusiasm, or to celebrate victory.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • interj. Lit., May you live ten thousand years; -- used in salutation of the emperor and as a battle cry.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In Japan, a shout of patriotic joy or encouragement: somewhat like the English hurrah. Often used, in English books, as a noun.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a Japanese cheer of enthusiasm or triumph

Etymologies

Japanese, (may you live) ten thousand years : ban, ten thousand (from Middle Chinese muanh, uan) + zai, year (from Middle Chinese swiajh, suaj).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Japanese 万歳 (a life of) ten thousand years. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • At Grand Rounds one morning, he showed us slide after slide of his success stories, post-op patients in what he called the banzai position: arms raised high, standing on one leg.

    Archive 2005-11-01

  • Now from Guadalcanal and out to the jungle islands and so on, the Japanese military doctrine was destruction of the enemy at the water's edge, and the tactic they used was what we call the banzai charge.

    Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II

  • So he will go for the maximum demands bare-headed — what a commenter prevously called a banzai charge.

    Belmont Club » Double Down

  • "There is a sport called banzai skydiving," he says.

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  • Originally, Kring wanted to use the word 'banzai', but Masi lobbied against it for its war-like connotations, and 'yatta' was selected.

    September 2007

  • On this latter occasion the ministers are said to have "uttered reiterated cries of 'banzai'" *, which has come into vogue once more in modern times as the equivalent of "hurrah."

    A History of the Japanese People From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era

  • When the Japs pulled one of their so-called banzai charges, we’d just sit there and mow ’em down.

    Brotherhood of Heroes

  • In one scene which has Korean board goers particularly riled, Hetalia's Korea says to Japan (both are male): "Let me touch your breasts", after which Korea grabs the chest of Japan, screaming "banzai".

    AnimeBlogger.net Antenna

  • Monday morning news broadcasts ran nonstop coverage of the election blowout, with winning politicians leading their supporters in cheers of "banzai" and solemn shots of grim-faced lawmakers that had been ousted.

    Gaea Times (by Simple Thoughts) Breaking News and incisive views 24/7

  • Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker Sadakazu Tanigaki (top 6th L) raises his hands with his parliamentarians as he shouts "banzai" (cheers) after he was elected head of the LDP at the party headquarters in politics, for the recent change of government was aimed at transforming Japan's

    WN.com - Articles related to Hatoyama's DPJ 'set to win two upper house seats'

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Comments

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  • BANZAI : Japanese war-cry, 1893, literally "(may you live) ten thousand years," originally a greeting addressed to the emperor, from ban "ten thousand" + sai "year."

    April 19, 2008