pon·​zu ˈpän-(ˌ)zü How to pronounce ponzu (audio)
: a tangy sauce made with citrus juice, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce and used especially on seafood

Did you know?

The word ponzu is relatively new to English; our earliest English-language evidence of the word - which we borrowed from Japanese - is from 1972. But the word's history isn't as simple as that fact suggests. The Japanese word, which literally means "juice squeezed from sour oranges" is itself from the Dutch word pons. And "pons" comes from (and shares the meaning of) the English word punch as it's used to refer to the beverage concoction that's often served at parties, weddings, and wakes.

Examples of ponzu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are fresh Pacific oysters with ponzu and yuzu tobiko ($11 for three) and the savory Japanese custard chawanmushi ($8). John Metcalfe, The Mercury News, 1 May 2024 Seeing a crudo dish on any menu these days isn’t unusual, but the hamachi with white ponzu, serrano and garlic oil is a standout, as is the show stopping lobster risotto, made with sushi rice instead of the usual arborio. Connie Ogle, Miami Herald, 22 Apr. 2024 For starters, there was redfish sashimi flavored with miyagawa ponzu and chili oil, and globe artichokes stuffed with kale cream. Gisela Williams, New York Times, 15 Apr. 2024 And the Spicy Gringo Roll ($12.50) has salmon, bigeye tuna, dutch yellowtail, ginger, garlic chip, barbecue paper, shallot and a serrano ponzu sauce. Jaylon Thompson, Kansas City Star, 4 Apr. 2024 Hamachi crudo served with ponzu, basil wasabi cream and pink peppercorns. The Arizona Republic, 15 Feb. 2024 Among the signature dishes on the New American menu: wasabi tuna tartar with avocado, citrus, ponzu and bubu arare; pumpkin butter rolls with maple butter and rosemary salt; oxtail bucatini; and branzino with cannellini beans, cherry tomatoes, nicoise olives and artichokes. Miami Staff, Miami Herald, 30 Jan. 2024 Start with the refreshing tuna tartar, served on avocado with ponzu, with bright chunks of fish, or wade right into what The Amalfi Llama excels at: the meat. Connie Ogle, Miami Herald, 29 Jan. 2024 Live scallops with tomato, soy ponzu, olive oil, and marinated seaweed. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 22 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ponzu.' 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 ponsu, ponzu juice squeezed from sour oranges, from Dutch pons, literally, punch, from English punch entry 4

First Known Use

1966, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ponzu was in 1966


Dictionary Entries Near ponzu

Cite this Entry

“Ponzu.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ponzu. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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