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kamikaze

[kah-mi-kah-zee] /ˌkɑ mɪˈkɑ zi/
noun
1.
(during World War II) a member of a special corps in the Japanese air force charged with the suicidal mission of crashing an aircraft laden with explosives into an enemy target, especially a warship.
2.
an airplane used for this purpose.
3.
a person or thing that behaves in a wildly reckless or destructive manner:
We were nearly run down by a kamikaze on a motorcycle.
adjective
4.
of, pertaining to, undertaken by, or characteristic of a kamikaze:
a kamikaze pilot; a kamikaze attack.
Origin
1940-1945
1940-45; < Japanese, equivalent to kami(y) god (earlier *kamui) + kaze wind (earlier *kanzai
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for kamikaze
  • Bus routes have been set up and kamikaze motorcycle-taxi riders forced to wear helmets.
  • There, weather foiled their invasions and gave rise to the legend of the divine wind, or kamikaze.
  • We've seen the crotch kamikaze next to come, the snitch one.
  • One second, you'd be creeping up on an enemy encampment, the next you'd be pulverized by a kamikaze pilot.
  • Watch one run, and the allure of skeleton is obvious: it's kamikaze style.
  • For objects requiring a bigger kick, a kamikaze spacecraft or a nuclear bomb might do the job.
  • Sandy the bartender proffers raspberry kamikaze shots on the house.
  • Although it may sound a little extreme, this kamikaze tactic serves to protect the ant's nest and territory.
British Dictionary definitions for kamikaze

kamikaze

/ˌkæmɪˈkɑːzɪ/
noun (often capital)
1.
(in World War II) one of a group of Japanese pilots who performed suicidal missions by crashing their aircraft, loaded with explosives, into an enemy target, esp a ship
2.
an aircraft used for such a mission
3.
(modifier) (of an action) undertaken or (of a person) undertaking an action in the knowledge that it will result in the death of the person performing it in order that maximum damage may be inflicted on an enemy: a kamikaze attack, a kamikaze bomber
4.
(modifier) extremely foolhardy and possibly self-defeating: kamikaze pricing
Word Origin
C20: from Japanese, from kami divine + kaze wind, referring to the winds that, according to Japanese tradition, destroyed a Mongol invasion fleet in 1281
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 kamikaze
n.

"suicide flier," 1945, Japanese, literally "divine wind," from kami "god, providence, divine" (see kami) + kaze "wind." Originally the name given in folklore to a typhoon which saved Japan from Mongol invasion by wrecking Kublai Khan's fleet (August 1281). The attacks began in October 1944 off the Philippines.

As an aside, at war's end, the Japanese had, by actual count, a total of 16,397 aircraft still available for service, including 6,374 operational fighters and bombers, and if they had used only the fighters and bombers for kamikaze missions, they might have realized, additionally, 900 ships sunk or damaged and 22,000 sailors killed or injured. In fact, however, the Japanese had outfitted many aircraft, including trainers, as potential suicide attackers. As intelligence estimates indicated, the Japanese believed they could inflict at least 50,000 casualties to an invasion force by kamikaze attacks alone. [Richard P. Hallion, "Military Technology and the Pacific War," 1995]
As an adjective by 1946.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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kamikaze in Culture
kamikaze [(kah-muh-kah-zee)]

Japanese fighter pilots in World War II, trained to make suicide crashes into Allied ships.

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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Slang definitions & phrases for kamikaze

kamikaze

modifier

Violent and reckless; self-destructive: his kamikaze style would lead to fine, suspension, or tragic injury (1960s+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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27
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