sam·u·rai | \ˈsa-mə-ˌrī, ˈsam-yə-\
plural samurai

Definition of samurai 

1 : a military retainer of a Japanese daimyo practicing the code of conduct of Bushido

2 : the warrior aristocracy of Japan

Examples of samurai in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

One involves a young Japanese-American playmate who owned a samurai doll that was kept in a glass case. Massimo Calabresi, Time, "With Justice Kennedy Gone, It's Trump's Court Now," 28 June 2018 There are vikings, samurai, ancient statues of mystery—and also a four-person golf kart, the first real vehicle in the game's history. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Fortnite Season 5 Is Here, and the Rest of the Week in Games," 13 July 2018 The movie, which tells the story of seven samurai for hire who are paid to defend a small farming village in rural Japan, is an epic of romance, conflict, and high-powered fight sequences., "Memorial Day fireworks, Sail Philadelphia, Devon Horse Show, and other events in Philadelphia, May 25-June 1," 24 May 2018 Japanese smiths forging blades for the samurai developed a masterful technique to create light, deadly sharp blades. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "The Entire History of Steel," 9 July 2018 Westworld was still able to get away wit broad clichés, like the defeated samurai committing seppuku and the awe-inspiring sight of Mount Fuji, because the idea is that this whole plotline was cooked up by Lee Sizemore, hack supreme. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Westworld: From Cradle to Grave," 28 May 2018 The Vine Bridges of Iya Valley, Japan As the legend goes, these swaying, creaking vine bridges in Japan’s remote West Iya Valley were first built more than 800 years ago when two samurai were battling over who would rule the country. Jamie Moore, USA TODAY, "The world’s 10 most amazing suspension bridges," 26 Apr. 2018 The California officer who impounded the vehicle found a medical card with Cunningham’s name on it in the passenger compartment, as well as a samurai sword, sheathed and wrapped in a blanket in the trunk, the charges say. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "DNA found on samurai sword leads to murder charge, warrant against former Island County man," 3 July 2018 These are colorful wooden toys that spin like tops and depict everything from beloved Buddhist figures to fierce samurai and characters from folk tales. Lee Lawrence, WSJ, "‘Unexpected Smiles: Seven Types of Humor in Japanese Paintings’ Review: Elegance That Encourages Laughter," 2 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of samurai

1727, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for samurai


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Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for samurai

The first known use of samurai was in 1727

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English Language Learners Definition of samurai

: a member of a Japanese military class in the past

More from Merriam-Webster on samurai

See words that rhyme with samurai Encyclopedia article about samurai

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evasion of direct action or statement

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