Definitions

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

  • n. The hereditary commander of the Japanese army who until 1867 exercised absolute rule under the nominal leadership of the emperor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The supreme generalissimo of feudal Japan.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A title originally conferred by the Mikado on the military governor of the eastern provinces of Japan. By gradual usurpation of power the Shoguns (known to foreigners as Tycoons) became finally the virtual rulers of Japan. The title was abolished in 1867.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. General: the title of the commander-in-chief or captain-general of the Japanese army during the continuance of the feudal system in that country.

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

  • n. a hereditary military dictator of Japan; the shoguns ruled Japan until the revolution of 1867-68

Etymologies

Japanese shōgun, general, from Middle Chinese tsiangkun : tsiang, general + kun, army.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Japanese 将軍 (shōgun), from an abbreviation of 征夷大将軍 (Seii Taishogun) which means the general who overcomes the barbarians. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • This is the temple of the second shogun, which is noteworthy for the beauty of the decoration of the sanctum and the tomb.

    The Critic in the Orient

  • The hearing by the shogun was the last recourse, and before submission to him the facts had to be investigated by the chamberlains (sobashu), who thus exercised great influence.

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

  • The shogun was a misogynist, and Yasuaki understood well that men who profess to hate women become the slave of the fair sex when their alleged repugnance is overcome.

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

  • Hopefully he'll be consistent and call shogun before his next fight!

    UFC blog for UFC news, results, videos, rumors, fights, pics and tickets -- MMAmania.com

  • Many of those buried here contributed to the modernization of Japan in one way or another during the Meiji Restoration -- a revolutionary period beginning in the late 1860s that was marked by the downfall of the shogunate ( "shogun" was the title given to the hereditary military commanders who ruled the country for 700 years) and feudalism and the creation of the modern state.

    Yokohama

  • I have elsewhere said that the title "shogun" originally signified, as did the Roman military term Imperator, only a commander-in-chief: it now became the title of the supreme ruler de facto, in his double capacity of civil and military sovereign, -- the King of kings.

    Japan: an Attempt at Interpretation

  • I also suspect that Dane 101's readership (well represented here by "shogun" in the initial comment) likely follows irrational suit.

    Dane101

  • Calling himself the "shogun" (a Japanese war lord who served as the virtual ruler of the country in feudal times), he said all the other big men "have to come upstairs and see me."

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  • she certainly seemed nice enough in high school, though her preferred friends probably could not have quoted yoda, and probably have not spent all of spring break reading "shogun" by james clavell. however, i certainly thought well enough of her to remember her after ten years with vague well-wishes.

    Archive 2007-01-01

  • Not long ago I stumbled on an out-of-print edition of Common Sense: How to Exercise It (Funk & Wagnalls, 1916), written by the Japanese shogun Yoritomo-Tashi and translated by Mme. Léon J. Berthelot de la Boileverie.

    2009 April 30 « One-Minute Book Reviews

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