kei·​ret·​su kā-ˈret-(ˌ)sü How to pronounce keiretsu (audio)
plural keiretsu also keiretsus
: a powerful alliance of Japanese businesses often linked by cross-shareholding

Examples of keiretsu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The stock exchange is pushing the country’s sprawling conglomerates, known as keiretsu, to streamline their organizational structure. Lionel Lim, Fortune Asia, 4 Mar. 2024 Japanese markets are also pushing the country’s sprawling conglomerates, known as keiretsu, to streamline their complicated organizational structure. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune Asia, 23 Feb. 2024 Their keiretsu system of manufacturers, supplies and distributors all working closely together has been imitated by other cultures since the 1980s, but has been hard to duplicate. Kerri Thurston, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2021 The keiretsu that flushed productive firms with capital during periods of high productivity proved unable to mobilize capital when those firms faced stresses. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, 17 Aug. 2020 And when the Japanese were eclipsing the U.S. economy through the keiretsu, large affiliated industrial companies working hand in hand with government—until Japan’s Lost Decade became two. Stanley F. Druckenmiller, WSJ, 2 May 2018 The firm was taken by the Japanese idea of keiretsu, a network of like-minded companies that support one another through partnerships and equity stakes., 13 Mar. 2018

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

Word History


Japanese, literally, system, series, from kei system + retsu row, line

First Known Use

1975, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of keiretsu was in 1975

Dictionary Entries Near keiretsu

Cite this Entry

“Keiretsu.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

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