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 Starting his replacement - 18-year-old Ilaix Moriba - has not been ruled out, however, and the La Masia graduate earned plaudits for his humility when publicly thanking Koeman for his assist-generating cameo like a uchi-deshi to his sensei. Tom Sanderson, Forbes, "FC Barcelona’s Stars Believe They Can Pull Off An Amazing Double Title Win," 1 Mar. 2021 Daniel, a Black kid raised in Newark in the eighties, does not need to learn karate in order to kick the asses of every single member of the Cobra Kai dojo, including the sensei. Carlos Greaves, The New Yorker, "Plots of Nineteen-Eighties Movies if Their Protagonists Had Been People of Color," 27 Feb. 2021 The 27-year-old doesn’t have to be the victory-teaching sensei anymore. Sean Collins, Dallas News, "‘Crimsix’, Dallas Empire out to prove they can win again, stomp Seattle 3-0 in season opener," 11 Feb. 2021 There’s also Brynn Wallner, who worked on the editorial team at Sotheby’s and is a millennial sensei of all things horography. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Why I’m Buying My First Watch," 10 Dec. 2020 Daniel is now a car salesman and dedicated family man who finds his way back to the world of martial arts by reconnecting to the spirit of his sensei, Nariyoshi Miyagi (Pat Morita). Rosy Cordero,, "Cobra Kai fans get karate chopped in the heart as Netflix announces 2021 release for season 3," 24 Aug. 2020 Sometimes the student has to one day show the sensei who the boss is. Joey Hayden, Dallas News, "WWE’s Braun Strowman talks SmackDown heading to Dallas, the Intercontinental Championship, and more," 19 Jan. 2020 The referee — a visiting sensei from Japan who has helped the Sao Paulo team train — isn’t wearing the elaborate gowns of traditional sumo referees. Jill Langlois, Los Angeles Times, "In Brazil, land of beaches and samba, a sumo wrestling academy thrives," 10 Sep. 2019 The sensei leading the training session at Mie Nishi is Kioshi Shimazaki, one of the few nikkeis at the gym on a Sunday morning. Jill Langlois, Los Angeles Times, "In Brazil, land of beaches and samba, a sumo wrestling academy thrives," 10 Sep. 2019

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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Cite this Entry

“Sensei.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

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