sen·​sei | \ ˈsen-ˌsā How to pronounce sensei (audio) \
plural sensei or senseis

Definition of sensei

: a teacher or instructor usually of Japanese martial arts (such as karate or judo)

Examples of sensei in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Priest reaches out to boss/sensei Scatter (Michael K. Williams) to increase product but the elder criminal balks, not wanting to attract police interest. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Review: 'Superfly' gets a flashy hip-hop remake that's so bad it's almost good," 12 June 2018 Hire the Best Man for the Job and Set Him Free Every cologne needs its sensei. Noah Johnson, GQ, "Here’s How Louis Vuitton Makes a Next-Level Cologne," 21 June 2018 Kamen trained four hours each day, seven days a week, under a teacher who spoke little English but who had learned directly from the founder of Okinawan Gōjū-ryū: a sensei named Chojun Miyagi. Alex Prewitt,, "The Crane Kick Is Bogus: A Karate Kid Oral History," 1 May 2018 LaRusso is looped back into karate soon after hearing the news but has slightly lost his way in life without his sensei Mr. Miyagi. Chris Chavez,, "Ralph Macchio Q&A: Karate Kid's Return With Cobra Kai, Mr. Miyagi's Legacy," 3 May 2018 Opening the gym reignites Lawrence’s old rivalry with LaRusso, who runs a successful car dealership, but is struggling to find balance in life without his sensei Mr. Miyagi. Jodi Guglielmi,, "Karate Kid's Ralph Macchio and William Zabka on Reprising Their Roles 34 Years Later," 2 May 2018 Instead, Johnny opens a dojo where he is destined to become the politically incorrect sensei to a group of outcast kids. Nina Metz,, "Buried by streaming. Again. Send help. Again.," 29 Mar. 2018 Use sensei instead of san for a teacher, doctor, or other type of professional. Sophie Friedman, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Essential Things to Know Before You Visit Tokyo," 22 Feb. 2018 Dambara named the business after Yoko Dambara, her late Japanese grandmother who was a master tea ceremony sensei in Tokyo. Linda Bladholm, miamiherald, "Green tea drinks, desserts fuse Japanese and Latin at Yoko Matcha | Miami Herald," 9 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sensei.' 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 sensei

1874, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sensei

Japanese, teacher, master

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Time Traveler for sensei

The first known use of sensei was in 1874

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Comments on sensei

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


showing courage and determination

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