sen·​sei ˈsen-ˌsā How to pronounce sensei (audio)
plural sensei or senseis
: 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 Over five days in Lynn, the boss recalls, the sensei guided six individual manufacturing teams toward smoothing and speeding their workflows. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 26 Jan. 2024 John trained Johnny and feuded with Daniel's sensei, Mr. Miyagi. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 2 July 2023 In the Karate Kid films, John is a Vietnam war veteran and the no-nonsense sensei at the Cobra Kai Dojo. Skyler Caruso, Peoplemag, 2 July 2023 The sensei’s book reveals a few secrets, though certainly none of such magnitude; in fact, few career anecdotes are included. Jonathan Rowe, SPIN, 14 June 2023 Alicia Hannah-Kim (pictured below) joins the cast as Kim Da-Eun, a stern-looking sensei in Silver's army. Kristen Baldwin,, 9 Aug. 2022 While the fictional sensei is benevolent, Constantine — C — was (and is) clearly not. Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times, 19 Apr. 2023 Kim Da-Eun (Alicia Hannah) is a cruel sensei brought into the Cobra Kai family by Silver after his search for instructors in the Valley leaves him unsatisfied. Andrew Walsh,, 20 Sep. 2022 In the latest season of Cobra Kai, warring dojos Miyagi Do, led by sensei Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), Eagle Fang, led by Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), and Cobra Kai, led by John Kreese (Martin Kove) and Terry Silver (Thomas Ian Griffith), compete for the soul of the Valley. Breanne L. Heldman,, 3 Jan. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sensei.' 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, teacher, master

First Known Use

1874, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sensei was in 1874

Dictionary Entries Near sensei

Cite this Entry

“Sensei.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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