senpai

Contents

English

 
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Alternative forms

Etymology

Japanese 先輩(せんぱい senpai), from Middle Chinese (sen "first", "former") + (bìj "generation") (compare Mandarin xiānbèi "elders")

Pronunciation

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈsɛmpaɪ/, /ˈsɛnpaɪ/, [ˈsɛmpaɪ̯], [ˈsɛnpaɪ̯]

Noun

senpai ‎(plural senpais)

  1. Senior member of a group in Japanese arts; mentor.
  2. (anime and manga, fandom slang) An upperclassman or elder student.

Usage notes

Use in English may carry humorous or affectionate connotations. This is possibly due to (assumed) reference to modern Japanese media, or possibly a lexical gap.

Antonyms


Japanese

Romanization

senpai

  1. Romaji transcription of せんぱい