gai·​jin | \ ˈgī-(ˌ)jēn How to pronounce gaijin (audio) , -(ˌ)jin \
plural gaijin

Definition of gaijin

: a foreigner in Japan

Examples of gaijin in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web 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, "Best Books to Read if You're Dreaming of Japan," 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, "The Essential Guide to Shinjuku, Tokyo's Busiest Neighborhood," 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, "Take Me Out to the Japanese Ball Game," 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, "'The Outsider': Film Review," 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, "SEGA Saying “So Long!” to GD-ROM Production?," 16 Jan. 2007

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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First Known Use of gaijin

1968, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gaijin

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

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Time Traveler for gaijin

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The first known use of gaijin was in 1968

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Cite this Entry

“Gaijin.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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