A relic of the large US presence in Japan in the years following World War II, the word honcho comes from the Japanese word hanchō meaning “leader of the squad, section, group.” We are uncertain of the exact route by which honcho found its way into American military argot in the mid-1950s, though it is known that the Japanese applied hanchō to British or Australian officers in charge of work parties in prisoner-of-war camps. By the 1960s, the word had become part of colloquial American jargon.
Examples of honcho in a Sentence
the office was all abuzz because some honchos from corporate headquarters were coming for a visit
he's definitely the head honcho in that company
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'honcho.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.