Definition of yakuza
1 : a Japanese gangster
2 : an organized crime syndicate in Japan
Recent Examples of yakuza from the Web
The reason for this hardline stance against tattoos in public places is that, because in Japan, tattoos are associated with yakuza — or members the Japanese mafia.
Copying Seymour’s files, which the author had gathered from archives, courts, and a confidential source’s hidden trailer, Begley glimpsed the far reaches of the speculation: bioweapons, Lebanese heroin shipments, Howard Hughes, the yakuza.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'yakuza'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of yakuza
Japanese, ruffian, gangster
First Known Use: 1964See Words from the same year
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up yakuza? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).