Definition of ninja
: a person trained in ancient Japanese martial arts and employed especially for espionage and assassinations
ninja was our Word of the Day on 01/20/2011. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of ninja from the Web
Sus Hi Eatstation: Get your ninja on at this sushi restaurant that serves customizable sushi dishes such as rolls, wraps and bowls.
Su Hi Eat Eatstation is the ninja-themed restaurant started by Robert Ly and wife Teresa Tran.
Based on the Lego Ninjago series, the film follows six young ninjas fighting to defend their island of Ninjago home.
The data showed interest in careers was literally all over the map, including top searches for: president (Texas and Oklahoma); zookeeper, (West Virginia); YouTube star (Ohio); bus driver (Mississippi); lion tamer (Louisiana); and ninja (Virginia).
In the celebrity version, each star is paired with an elite ninja who help them prepare for the physically taxing event and then coach and cheer them through the obstacles.
Like Costanzo did in Farmington, the ninja burglar targeted wealthy neighborhoods for break-ins.
In the senior world, that makes her a digital ninja.
But the pop culturalization of the ninja has turned them into a kind of shorthand for shrewd scheming and swift moves.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ninja'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Ninjas may seem mysterious, but the origin of their name is not. The word ninja derives from the Japanese characters "nin" and "ja." "Nin" initially meant "persevere," but over time it developed the extended meanings "conceal" and "move stealthily." In Japanese, "ja" is the combining form of sha, meaning "person." Ninjas originated in the mountains of Japan over 800 years ago as practitioners of ninjutsu, a martial art sometimes called "the art of stealth" or "the art of invisibility." They often served as military spies and were trained in disguise, concealment, geography, meteorology, medicine, and also other martial arts. Popular legends still associate them with espionage and assassinations, but modern ninjas are most likely to study ninjutsu to improve their physical fitness and self-defense skills.
Origin and Etymology of ninja
Japanese, from nin- persevere, conceal, move stealthily + -ja person
First Known Use: 1964See Words from the same year
NINJA Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ninja for English Language Learners
: a fighter who is trained in the Japanese martial arts
NINJA Defined for Kids
Definition of ninja for Students
: a person trained in ancient Japanese martial arts who works as a spy and assassin especially in the past
Seen and Heard
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