Sensei definition

sĕnsā, sĕn-sā
Frequency:
A teacher or mentor, especially of a martial art.
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A martial arts instructors. Sensei of martial arts usually live and/or work at a dojo where they instruct their apprentices. A live-in apprentice is also called uchi-deshi.
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(colloquial) A Japanese (language) teacher.
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Used as a form of address for such a person.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
sensei
Plural:
senseis

Origin of sensei

  • Japanese teacher, master from Middle Chinese sianʂaːjŋ elder, prior-born (term of respect) (also the source of Mandarin xiānsheng) sian first ʂaːjŋ to give birth, be born (ultimately from Proto-Sino-Tibetan sriŋ live, life) (also the source of Burmese hrang live, alive)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Japanese 先生 (せんせい sensei), from Middle Chinese 先生 (sen-ʂænɡ "master", "elder"), from 先 ("former", "first") + 生 ("born", also "master") (compare Mandarin xiānshēng "Mr.").

    From Wiktionary