sal·​a·​ry·​man | \ ˈsal-rē-ˌman How to pronounce salaryman (audio) , ˈsa-lə- \

Definition of salaryman

: a Japanese white-collar businessman

Examples of salaryman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Anyone who has even a passing interest in Japan knows this, has seen the photographs of black-suited salarymen having picnic lunches in an incongruously pink landscape, like something out of a child’s fantasy bedroom. New York Times, "For Valentine’s Day, Nine Stories About Flowers," 11 Feb. 2020 For decades the government pushed industrial growth, so the country’s cities filled up with drab business hotels that catered to armies of salarymen. The Economist, "Room to grow Posh hotels are scarce in Japan—and increasingly lucrative," 12 Dec. 2019 Tokyo is among several cities with helplines and websites that try to reach shut-ins, who range from teenage school dropouts to salarymen who have been sacked. The Economist, "Mental health in Japan A growing number of Japanese have become recluses," 28 Nov. 2019 Japan was once renowned for the mutual loyalty of its companies and salarymen, who could plausibly aspire to lifetime employment at a single firm. Julian Lucas, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 16 Sep. 2019 The model of the salaryman who enjoys a job for life has broken down. The Economist, "Ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, Japan ponders what it means to be Japanese," 27 July 2019 But despite behemoth native power players including Honda, Mitsubishi, Nintendo, SoftBank, Sony, and Toyota, its corporate salaryman circles are full of squares, by design. Richard Morgan, Fortune, "Japan’s Would-Be Silicon Valley Wants You," 23 July 2019 In the dark after-work hours, its tiny bars, ramen counters, karaoke boxes, and hostess spots were crammed with salarymen spending an extra few hours laughing at their superiors’ jokes or drinking off the stress of their jobs. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Two unlikely cops are paired up to solve murders in a war-torn Tokyo in Ninth Step Station," 8 Dec. 2018 The fan base spans the spectrum of Japanese society: die-hard fanatics crowded into the outfield, salarymen and salarywomen unwinding after work, families with young children and teenagers on dates. Byron Tau, WSJ, "Take Me Out to the Japanese Ball Game," 24 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'salaryman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of salaryman

1962, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for salaryman

Japanese sararī-man, from English salary + man

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about salaryman

Time Traveler for salaryman

Time Traveler

The first known use of salaryman was in 1962

See more words from the same year

Statistics for salaryman

Cite this Entry

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

Comments on salaryman

What made you want to look up salaryman? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!