sho·​gun | \ ˈshō-gən How to pronounce shogun (audio) \

Definition of shogun

: one of a line of military governors ruling Japan until the revolution of 1867–68

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Other Words from shogun

shogunal \ ˈshō-​gə-​nəl How to pronounce shogunal (audio) \ adjective
shogunate \ ˈshō-​gə-​nət How to pronounce shogunate (audio) , -​ˌnāt \ noun

Examples of shogun in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For travelers, following the remains of the shogun age provides a tantalizing doorway into a world rarely seen by outsiders. Hiroshi Okamoto, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Way of the Shogun," 9 July 2020 One of the shrines, Toshogu, is traditionally held to house the remains of the all-conquering shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, who founded the dynasty. Hiroshi Okamoto, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Way of the Shogun," 9 July 2020 Finally, in 1868, after the last shogun had resigned, Edo Castle was surrendered to the emperor to avoid a civil war. Lidija Haas, Harper's Magazine, "New Books," 23 June 2020 One summer, the story goes, a group of men went into the shogun’s woods and stole some timber to rebuild a local temple, a capital offense. Ben Dooley, New York Times, "In Rural Japan, a 370-Year-Old Tradition Falls to One Child," 13 Apr. 2020 After lunch, head to Nijo Castle, the former seat of the Tokugawa shoguns in Kyoto. National Geographic, "Japan: Hiking and Cultural Adventure," 12 June 2019 The shogun demands Sakura for himself, but Akane refuses to give her up. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Westworld Season 2 Episode 5 Recap: Welcome to Shogun World, Motherf—kers!," 21 May 2018 In 1733, the ruling shogun placated his people by supplying gunpowder for a show above the Sumida River in modern Tokyo. Laura Mallonee, WIRED, "'Fire Flowers' Dazzle in Gorgeous Photos of Japanese Fireworks," 4 July 2018 For those who find bloodthirsty Old West bandits too tame, behold a glitchy, malfunctioning shogun. William Lee,, "‘Westworld’ Episode 5 recap: 5 things to know about ‘Akane No Mai’ and the introduction of Shogun World," 20 May 2018

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

1727, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shogun

Japanese shōgun

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Time Traveler for shogun

Time Traveler

The first known use of shogun was in 1727

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Statistics for shogun

Last Updated

30 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shogun.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for shogun


How to pronounce shogun (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shogun

: any one of the military leaders who ruled Japan until the revolution of 1867-68

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