ninja

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See also: NINJA

English[edit]

A woodblock print of a ninja from the Hokusai Manga, published in 1814.
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Etymology[edit]

A romanized borrowing of Japanese 忍者 (ninja), popularized within Japanese by manga after World War II and in English by Eric Van Lustbader's 1980 novel The Ninja and the 1981 movie Enter the Ninja, of uncertain derivation but with an underlying sense of secret or hidden person.

The “Mongolian miner” sense arose from the supposed resemblance of the bowls used to wash ore with mercury to the shells of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

The Juggalo slang sense arose via influence from AAVE nigga.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /ˈnɪndʒə/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪndʒə

Noun[edit]

ninja (plural ninja or ninjas)

  1. (martial arts, Japan) A person trained in ninjutsu, especially (historical) one used for espionage, assassination, and other tasks requiring stealth during Japan's shogunate period.
    • 1964, Ian Fleming, You Only Live Twice, p. 126:
      The men... are now learning to be ninja or ‘stealers-in’.
    • 2000 October 15, Denver Post, p. 10:
      Spies prowled Japan from the seventh century, but the secretive ninja left few written records.
  2. (figuratively) A person considered similarly skillful to the historical ninja, especially in covert or stealthy operation.
    • 1972 September 11, Newsweek, Int'l ed., p. 28:
      For months the Japanese spoke of national-security adviser Henry Kissinger as a ninja—the magician of Japanese legends who performs supernatural acts and practices sorcery.
    • 1987 August 3, Business Week, p. 40:
      Other bankers are dubbing themselves ninja, modern-day descendants of the superspies of 17th century samurai houses.
    • 1991 August 4, The Guardian, p. 13:
      Young banking and securities firms executives (nicknamed the ninja...) are especially assigned to cultivate relations with the finance ministry. Only verbal instructions are ever given to the ninja.
  3. (figuratively) A person considered to look like the historical ninja in some way, including (Mongolia, historical slang) amateur private miners.
    • 1998 December 28, Chicago Tribune, p. 1:
      He immediately suspected they were ninjas because, he said, they were dressed in black and wore masks, trademarks of the mysterious assassins who have been sowing terror across East Java in recent months.
    • 2003 February 21, Business Times:
      Yen buyers were more subdued... fearing the Bank of Japan's new strategy of covert intervention to buy U.S. dollars through agent banks—described by some as the central bank's ninjas or secret agents.
    • 2007 October 10, Jonathan Watts, "Prospectors and 'Ninja' Miners Flood to East's El Dorado", The Guardian:
      Many were former nomads, but as the gold rush gathered pace, students, vets and taxi drivers from Ulan Bator joined the ninjas, not just in Ogoomor but in other gold towns across the country.
  4. (Juggalo slang) Synonym of man as a friendly term of address.
    What up, my ninja!

Synonyms[edit]

Hyponyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adjective[edit]

ninja (not comparable)

  1. Of or related to ninjas in their various senses.
    • 1966 October, Black Belt, p. 5:
      The July 1966 issue had a cartoon concerning a Ninja dojo.
    • 1971 May, Black Belt, p. 40:
      One of the most controversial characters in Japan's current ninja boom is a stout but surprisingly agile man in his mid-forties named Norihiro Iga-Hakuyusai.
    • 1995 August 28, Time, p. 36:
      ...Federal agents in body armor and black ninja uniforms...
    • 2002 August 31, The Guardian, p. 2:
      As they broke camp, the teenage son practised his Ninja moves with a tentpole.

Verb[edit]

ninja (third-person singular simple present ninjas, present participle ninjaing, simple past and past participle ninjaed or ninja'd)

  1. (transitive, intransitive) To act or move like a ninja, particularly with regard to a combination of speed, power, and stealth.
    • 1992, Iain Banks, Crow Road, p. 160:
      I leapt up, ninja'd over to Gav's bed and wheeched the duvet off.
    • 1996 April 23, Rocky Mountain News, p. 5:
      In our dark house we were ninja-ing around with water guns.
    • 2002 August 29, Los Angeles Times, p. 48:
      I ninja'd my way into Kung Fu Records to hang out with those merry pranksters the Vandals.
  2. (Internet, slang) Synonym of preempt: to supersede and invalidate a response by posting immediately before it.
    When I hit post, I saw that Blue Emu had ninja'd me, so I just deleted my reply.
  3. (online gaming slang) To claim an item through abuse of game mechanics.
    That damn warrior ninja'd an epic-quality wand even though he can't even use it!

References[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Danish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Japanese 忍者.

Noun[edit]

ninja

  1. ninja
    • 2016, Kristoffer Jacob Andersen, Lord Kenshus forbandelse, Tellerup A/S →ISBN
      Ninjaer er blot simple spioner.
    • 2014, Lise Bidstrup, Shinobi #5: Ninja-genfærd, Tellerup A/S →ISBN
      Disse ninjaer var uhyggelige, tågeagtige skikkelser.
    • 2016, Anders Matthesen, Ternet Ninja, Rosinante & Co →ISBN
      Aske kunne se syningerne i ninjaens dragt.
    • 2002, Kejserens atlas, Gyldendal A/S →ISBN, page 184
      „Nattergalegulvet", der sladrede om ninjaens trin, blev et kuriosum.

Declension[edit]


Indonesian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Japanese 忍者 (ninja).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /nin.d͡ʒa/
  • Hyphenation: nin‧ja

Noun[edit]

ninja (plural ninja-ninja, first-person possessive ninjaku, second-person possessive ninjamu, third-person possessive ninjanya)

  1. (historical) ninja.
  2. unidentified assassin with black clothes and mask

Italian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Japanese 忍者 (ninja).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈnin.d͡ʒa/, [ˈn̺in̺ʲd͡ʒä]
  • Hyphenation: nìn‧ja

Noun[edit]

ninja (invariable)

  1. (historical) ninja

Japanese[edit]

Romanization[edit]

ninja

  1. Rōmaji transcription of にんじゃ

Coordinate terms[edit]


Portuguese[edit]

Noun[edit]

ninja m, f (plural ninjas)

  1. (martial arts, historical) ninja (person trained in stealth, espionage, assassination and ninjutsu)

Spanish[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈninɟ͡ʝa/, [ˈnĩɲɟ͡ʝa]

Noun[edit]

ninja m or f (plural ninjas)

  1. (martial arts, historical) ninja (person trained in stealth, espionage, assassination and ninjutsu)

Swedish[edit]

Noun[edit]

ninja c

  1. a ninja

Declension[edit]

Declension of ninja 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative ninja ninjan ninjor ninjorna
Genitive ninjas ninjans ninjors ninjornas