sam·​u·​rai | \ ˈsa-mə-ˌrī How to pronounce samurai (audio) , 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 Together, the Nicolas Cage cowboy-samurai gore-fest Prisoners of Ghostland), documentaries (The Most Beautiful Boy in the World, Playing With Sharks) and even adult-skewing animation (Cryptozoo, Flee). Chris Lee, Vulture, "Virtual Buzz Led to the Biggest Sale in Sundance History," 4 Feb. 2021 To amp up the entertainment value, other competitors have incorporated props ranging from liquor bottles to samurai swords. Richard Chin, Star Tribune, "Minnesota pizza dough thrower is one of the best in the world at 'pizza acrobatics'," 12 Jan. 2021 There were plenty of pretty games in 2020, but the most memorably breathtaking title for me is the samurai adventure game Ghost of Tsushima. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Ars Technica’s best games of 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 This 13th-century samurai drama blends a likable lead with satisfying swordplay and an open world that consistently engages with the player and keeps them moving forward. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "The Ars Technica ultimate holiday gift guide 2020," 14 Dec. 2020 Ghost of Tsushima takes you through the first Mongol invasion of Japan and puts you in the shoes of an intrepid (if a bit anachronistic) samurai on a quest to save Japan. Jess Grey, Wired, "The Best Cyber Monday Video Game and Accessory Deals," 29 Nov. 2020 This action-adventure game developed by Sucker Punch Productions follows Jin Sakai, a samurai on a quest to protect Tsushima Island during the first Mongol invasion of Japan. Elizabeth Montgomery, The Arizona Republic, "Gifts for gamers: Here's our guide to Black Friday offerings from PS5, XBox and Nintendo," 16 Nov. 2020 For decades, the samurai has been a safe icon in pop culture to portray a strong, vital Japan, mirroring the use of cowboys to evoke ruggedness and individuality in the United States. Washington Post, "What we talk about when we talk about ‘Ghost of Tsushima’," 1 Oct. 2020 Blanche suggests a feudal warlord in a samurai movie. Armond White, National Review, "Let Him Go: A Morally Superior Neo-Western," 6 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for samurai

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The first known use of samurai was in 1727

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Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Samurai.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for samurai



English Language Learners Definition of samurai

: a member of a Japanese military class in the past

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