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[gey-shuh, gee-] /ˈgeɪ ʃə, ˈgi-/
noun, plural geisha, geishas.
a Japanese woman trained as a professional singer, dancer, and companion for men.
Origin of geisha
1890-95; < Japanese, equivalent to gei arts (< Chinese) + -sha person (< Chin) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for geisha
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The street of the geisha is full of music, for they play the samisen there all day long.

    Japanese Fairy Tales Grace James
  • Other geisha grew into fame, but no one was even classed with her.

  • The geisha in reality is a little genius, perfectly brilliant as a talker, and mistress of the art of dancing.

    Japan Dorothy Menpes
  • One whisper from a geisha had numbed his will; one smile blinded his eyes.

  • I suppose it is—but it's rather a geisha view of life, don't you think?'

    The Convert Elizabeth Robins
  • The hero is the well-known Japanese painter Buncho; the heroine a geisha.

    Lafcadio Hearn Nina H. Kennard
British Dictionary definitions for geisha


noun (pl) -sha, -shas
a professional female companion for men in Japan, trained in music, dancing, and the art of conversation
Word Origin
C19: from Japanese, from gei art + sha person, from Ancient Chinese ngi and che
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for geisha

1887, "Japanese girl whose profession is to sing and dance to entertain men;" hence, loosely, "prostitute," from Japanese, literally "person accomplished in the social arts," from gei "art, performance" + sha "person." Cf. almah, and Athenian auletrides "flute-girls," female musicians who entertained guests at a symposium with music at the start of the party and sex at the end of it.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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geisha in Culture
geisha [(gay-shuh, gee-shuh)]

A Japanese woman who is trained and paid to provide entertainment and amusing company for men.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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