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[mi-kah-doh] /mɪˈkɑ doʊ/
noun, plural mikados.
(sometimes initial capital letter) a title of the emperor of Japan.
(initial capital letter, italics) an operetta (1885) by Sir William S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan.
(initial capital letter) a steam locomotive having a two-wheeled front truck, eight driving wheels, and a two-wheeled rear truck.
Origin of mikado
1720-30; < Japanese, equivalent to mi- exalted + kado gate, door (of the imperial palace) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mikado
Historical Examples
  • The mikado (Son of Heaven) exercises monarchical powers, although the two legislative bodies suggest the laws.

  • Church and State are so closely welded that the mikado is regarded as a god.

    The Critic in the Orient George Hamlin Fitch
  • Every loyal subject of the mikado's Empire is expected to be true to the ancient faith.

    The Shinto Cult Milton Spenser Terry
  • I think that was not so very long after the mikado made its debut.

    A Portrait of Old George Town Grace Dunlop Ecker
  • The mikado himself dared not oppose him, for the military power of the empire lay within his grasp.

  • As Gilbert's "mikado" would say, "the punishment fits the crime."

  • The mikado's red robes shone resplendent; the lofty sheet of gold which formed, his crown gleamed upon his brow.

    The Usurper Judith Gautier
  • The mikado is lamenting a sudden realisation that he is too old for his love.

  • Offices of state in the mikado's court—the Dairi it is called—are above all in honor, objects of ambition even to the Ziogoon.

  • It will be remembered that this flower forms part of the mikado's arms.

    Due West Maturin Murray Ballou
British Dictionary definitions for mikado


noun (pl) -dos
(often capital) (archaic) the Japanese emperor Compare tenno
Word Origin
C18: from Japanese, from mi- honourable + kado gate
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 mikado

1727, former title of the emperor of Japan, from mi "honorable" + kado "gate, portal." Similar to Sublime Porte, old title of the Ottoman emperor/government, and Pharaoh, which literally means "great house."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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