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[tahy-koon] /taɪˈkun/
a person of great wealth, influence, or power; magnate:
a business tycoon; a political tycoon.
(often initial capital letter) a title used with reference to the shogun of Japan.
Origin of tycoon
1855-60; < Japanese taikun < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese great + jūn prince Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tycoon
  • Now it is clear it was a manoeuvre to restyle his tycoon image.
  • In a sense, the restless tycoon had been hunting all his life-for success.
  • His cabinet contains another telecoms tycoon, among other businessmen.
  • They would be well within the budget of a small country, a large company or even a tycoon.
  • But he has been a happy rail tycoon and a prosperous one.
  • The investigation of a publishing tycoon's dying words reveals conflicting stories about his scandalous life.
British Dictionary definitions for tycoon


a business man of great wealth and power
an archaic name for a shogun
Word Origin
C19: from Japanese taikun, from Chinese ta great + chün ruler
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 tycoon

1857, title given by foreigners to the shogun of Japan (said to have been used by his supporters when addressing foreigners, as an attempt to convey that the shogun was more important than the emperor), from Japanese taikun "great lord or prince," from Chinese tai "great" + kiun "lord." Transferred meaning "important person" is attested from 1861, in reference to U.S. president Abraham Lincoln (in Hay's diary); specific application to "businessman" is post-World War I.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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tycoon in Culture

tycoon definition

Someone who has made a fortune in business, such as Cornelius Vanderbilt.

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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