Bu·​shi·​do | \ ˈbu̇-shi-ˌdō How to pronounce Bushido (audio) , ˈbü- \

Definition of Bushido

: a feudal-military Japanese code of behavior valuing honor above life

Did You Know?

First formulated in the 17th century, bushido is the code of conduct of the samurai class of Japan. Its precise content varied over time, taking on overtones of Zen Buddhism and Confucianism. Along with self-discipline, honor, and austerity, one constant feature was the samurai’s obligation to his lord, which superseded even familial ties. This obligation of loyalty and sacrifice was transferred to the emperor with the Meiji Restoration and was a significant feature of the Japanese national mindset during World War II.

First Known Use of Bushido

1898, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Bushido

Japanese bushidō

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Bushido

Time Traveler for Bushido

Time Traveler

The first known use of Bushido was in 1898

See more words from the same year

Statistics for Bushido

Cite this Entry

“Bushido.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Bushido. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

Comments on Bushido

What made you want to look up Bushido? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!