Wa·​gyu ˈwä-(ˌ)gyü How to pronounce Wagyu (audio)
variants or less commonly wagyu
plural Wagyu also wagyu
: any of four strains of a breed of black or red Japanese cattle valued for their highly marbled meat
In the U.S., Japanese Wagyu cows have been crossbred with those of other breeds to produce unsurpassably tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef.Saveur

Note: Wagyu were developed in Japan in the late 1800s to 1910 by crossbreeding native cattle with European breeds.

or Wagyu beef or less commonly wagyu beef : beef from Wagyu cattle
The surface of my Wagyu was intricately laced with delicate veins of off-white fat—by laboratory measurement, three times more marbling fat than U.S. prime-grade beef, though with slightly less cholesterol.Jeffrey Steingarten
Wagyu beef is tender and flavorful because of its intramuscular fat, or marbling.Sam Gugino
compare kobe beef

Examples of Wagyu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What to order: The Wagyu beef shawarma, slow-cooked on a vertical spit, is the best protein option on the menu. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 Apr. 2024 Even though the menu changes every season, the Wagyu burger is a staple. Kira Turnbull, Travel + Leisure, 2 Apr. 2024 Temescal’s Clove and Hoof was originally a butcher shop selling Wagyu flank and housemade sausages – focusing on whole animals that are raised sustainably – with fridges overflowing with housemade sauces and rich stocks. Martha Ross, The Mercury News, 1 Apr. 2024 Chefs use fire, smoke, coals and embers to cook meat, seafood, grains and vegetables in dishes such as cedar plank-roasted branzino, Ora King salmon and burrata, lobster arrabbiata spaghetti, baked tagliolini, roasted mushrooms with white truffle oil, tomahawk and Wagyu steaks and more. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Mar. 2024 Main entrees include Wagyu steak and eggs, salmon, filet medallions, berry French toast, and crab Benedict. Elaine Rewolinski, Journal Sentinel, 22 Mar. 2024 Guests were met with an ice bar filled with vodka, paté, and caviar before an exquisite sit-down dinner of Toro Sashimi, Seared Kohlrabi, and Wagyu A5 Beef. Jim Dobson, Forbes, 1 Mar. 2024 And while other London restaurants offer more expensive individual statement dishes, such as the roughly $800 Wagyu tomahawk at Nusr-Et, Kanesaka’s 18-course set menu is the U.K.’s priciest, with sake pairings adding at least another $180 or so to that bill. Ben Oliver, Robb Report, 9 Mar. 2024 There are $69 rib-eyes, Wagyu short ribs ($47) and confit chicken wings ($19) with blue cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. Benjy Egel, Sacramento Bee, 8 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Wagyu.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from Japanese wagyū, from wa "Japan, Japanese" + gyū "cattle, cow"

First Known Use

1963, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Wagyu was in 1963

Dictionary Entries Near Wagyu

Cite this Entry

“Wagyu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Wagyu. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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