Check out new words added to


[sam-oo-rahy] /ˈsæm ʊˌraɪ/
noun, plural samurai. Japanese History
a member of the hereditary warrior class in feudal Japan.
a retainer of a daimyo.
Origin of samurai
1720-30; < Japanese, earlier samurafi to serve, equivalent to sa- prefix + morafi watchfully wait (frequentative of mor- to guard) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for samurai
  • They weren't really samurai but a ragtag group who set up a militia.
  • It will, though, take a small miracle if the story of the stricken samurai horses is to have a happy ending.
  • Even today it makes samurai swords using time-honoured techniques.
  • Slicing apples in the air with a samurai sword took a year.
  • He had been a bulldozer and a samurai, but today he was a werewolf.
  • Cherry blossoms fall in their prime, as samurai warriors were meant to do.
  • One bat is composed of a stun gun, baseball bat and axe, while the other is built with a samurai sword in lieu of the axe.
  • It turned to the samurai, noble but impoverished, who over centuries of peace had become bureaucrats.
  • Moviegoers familiar with those imported samurai dramas know that the best can be strong, towering works of art.
  • Both the industrialist's headquarters and the samurai's family compound are striking and memorable locations.
British Dictionary definitions for samurai


/ˈsæmʊˌraɪ; ˈsæmjʊ-/
noun (pl) -rai
the Japanese warrior caste that provided the administrative and fighting aristocracy from the 11th to the 19th centuries
a member of this aristocracy
Word Origin
C19: from Japanese
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for samurai

1727, from Japanese samurai "warrior, knight," originally the military retainer of the daimio, variant of saburai, nominal form of sabura(h)u "to be in attendance, to serve."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
samurai in Technology

A hacker who hires out for legal cracking jobs, snooping for factions in corporate political fights, lawyers pursuing privacy-rights and First Amendment cases, and other parties with legitimate reasons to need an electronic locksmith. In 1991, mainstream media reported the existence of a loose-knit culture of samurai that meets electronically on BBS systems, mostly bright teenagers with personal micros; they have modelled themselves explicitly on the historical samurai of Japan and on the "net cowboys" of William Gibson's cyberpunk novels. Those interviewed claim to adhere to a rigid ethic of loyalty to their employers and to disdain the vandalism and theft practiced by criminal crackers as beneath them and contrary to the hacker ethic; some quote Miyamoto Musashi's "Book of Five Rings", a classic of historical samurai doctrine, in support of these principles.
See also Stupids, social engineering, cracker, hacker ethic, and dark-side hacker.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for samurai

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for samurai

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with samurai