gai·​jin ˈgī-(ˌ)jēn How to pronounce gaijin (audio)
plural gaijin
: a foreigner in Japan

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Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Some gaijin, like Kelly Luce and Pico Iyer, had been touched by Japanese culture deeply enough to write about it. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, 30 Apr. 2020 Through conversations with Japanese friends and other gaijin, Iyer illuminates the uniquely paradoxical culture that defines present-day Japan: a society alone, together; at once preposterous and repressed; equally ordered and chaotic. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, 30 Mar. 2020 Golden Gai Only a decade ago, a visit to the five alleys of Golden Gai was taboo for travelers, when signs were posted in bars forbidding gaijin (foreigners) from entering. Brandon Presser, Condé Nast Traveler, 17 Mar. 2020 Teams play in most of the major tourist destinations all over the country, the tickets are cheap, and the friendly fans tolerate gaijin, or foreigners. Byron Tau, WSJ, 24 Aug. 2018 Although Nick's gaijin status is frequently referred to in disparaging terms, the film blandly scripted by Andrew Baldwin (The Take) doesn't handle its premise in particularly interesting fashion. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Mar. 2018 As crazy as this sounds to us gaijin, Dreamcast games still come out in Japan, mostly shmups, and there’s even a couple of games slated for release over the next two months. Alec Matias, WIRED, 16 Jan. 2007 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gaijin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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Word History


borrowed from Japanese, from gai- "outer, foreign" + -jin "person"

First Known Use

1968, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gaijin was in 1968

Dictionary Entries Near gaijin

Cite this Entry

“Gaijin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2022.

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