[shoh-guhn, -guhn]
noun Japanese History.
the title applied to the chief military commanders from about the 8th century a.d. to the end of the 12th century, then applied to the hereditary officials who governed Japan, with the emperor as nominal ruler, until 1868, when the shogunate was terminated and the ruling power was returned to the emperor.
Also, shōgun.

1605–15; < Japanese shōgun, earlier shaũgun < Middle Chinese, equivalent, to Chinese jiāngjūn literally, lead the army

shogunal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
shogun (ˈʃəʊˌɡuːn)
1.  (from 794 ad) a chief military commander
2.  (from about 1192 to 1867) any of a line of hereditary military dictators who relegated the emperors to a position of purely theoretical supremacy
[C17: from Japanese, from Chinese chiang chün general, from chiang to lead + chün army]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1615, "hereditary commander of Japanese army," from Jap. (sei-i-tai) shogun "(barbarian-subduing) chief" (1192), sound-substitution for Chinese chiang chiin, lit. "lead army." Shogunate (1871) is a hybrid, with L. suffix -ate.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
shoguns [(shoh-guhnz)]

Japanese military leaders who ruled the country from the twelfth to the nineteenth centuries. There was still an emperor in Japan under the shoguns, but he was reduced to a mere figurehead.

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