noun, often capitalized
shi·​at·​su | \ shē-ˈät-(ˌ)sü How to pronounce shiatsu (audio) \
variants: or less commonly shiatzu

Definition of shiatsu

: acupressure especially : a form of acupressure that originated in Japan

Examples of shiatsu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Most back massagers available on the market offer either a shiatsu or percussion massage. Braelyn Wood,, "The 12 Best Back Massagers to Soothe Sore Muscles and Alleviate Tension," 1 June 2020 Inside, between the glass walls, glossy floors, and dark, quiet hallways, facials, massages, and wellness tune-ups are taking place (the menu reveals options like underwater massage, electro-lymphatic drainage, and shiatsu). Jessica Chia, Allure, "Here's Why Spain's Sha Wellness Clinic Is One of the Best Spas in the World," 25 Dec. 2019 There are shiatsu massages and facials at the spa, sportfishing for mahi-mahi and wahoo with no other boats around, surf lessons, laying down tracks in the recording studio, and hijinks on the outdoor parkour course. Rebecca Misner, Condé Nast Traveler, "Island Hopping in French Polynesia," 15 Nov. 2019 Or, as the first non-English line is sung, your seat going full Brookstone shiatsu chair as everyone behind you jabs for the supertitles? Isaac Oliver, New York Times, "O Mad Night!," 2 Jan. 2017 A: The name Watsu comes from the words shiatsu and water. Interview With Yourhub, The Denver Post, "Business Q&A: Sweetwater Watsu, Evergreen," 10 Jan. 2017

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

1967, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shiatsu

short for Japanese shiatsu-ryōhō, from shi- finger + -atsu pressure + ryōhō treatment

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Time Traveler for shiatsu

Time Traveler

The first known use of shiatsu was in 1967

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Statistics for shiatsu

Last Updated

10 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shiatsu.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for shiatsu


noun, often capitalized
variants: also shiatzu \ shē-​ˈät-​sü How to pronounce shiatzu (audio) \

Medical Definition of shiatsu

: acupressure especially of a form that originated in Japan

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