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Borrowed from Japanese 声優 (seiyū), from Middle Chinese (*ɕiɛ̝ŋ, sound, voice) + (*ʔɨu, actor).


  • IPA(key): /ˈseɪjuː/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪjuː


seiyuu (plural seiyuu or seiyuus)

  1. A voice actor in a native-language version anime, a video game, a radio broadcast or an advertisement in Japan.
    • 1998 November 8,, “seiyuus in other media?”, in rec.arts.anime.misc"seiyuus"/rec.arts.anime.misc/knz0XOnAYa0/GFPgV_9yJRgJ (Usenet):
      i was just wondering if any seiyuus did/do any other voice acting for things besides anime, like video games and other such media.
    • 2001 March 23, Marcus Mas, “[OT] English speaking seiyuu?”, in (Usenet):
      I was thinking, have there ever been any seiyuu that are native English speakers but have learned Japanese and won a role as an anime character?
    • December 2013, Pax Alquiza in Anime Reign Magazine, Vol. 1, Issue 2:
      And the seiyuus all fit very nicely with their characters, especially Takuya, who voices our main man, Hikigaya.
    • 2014, p. 189:
      Kasahara might be better-known today to most U.S. fans as an anime seiyuu (voice actor); she played Fuu in Magic Knights Rayearth and Misuki's mother, Hazuki, in Full Moon wo Sagashite.



seiyuu (third-person singular simple present seiyuus, present participle seiyuuing, simple past and past participle seiyuued)

  1. To take on a role as a voice actor in a Japanese production, or perform a certain character in such a production.
    • 1996 June 9, kristyn lier, “Megumi Ogata Roles”, in (Usenet):
      me, i just want to know all anime that ogata has seiyuued in and who she was the voice actress for.
    • 2001 July 22, sumire, “Re: Seiyuu as Live Actors.”, in rec.arts.anime.misc (Usenet):
      Tomokazu Seki also appears in his theater company "Hero-Hero-Q"'s stage plays when he's not seiyuu-ing.
    • 2004 May 4, Neo-Era, “Yumiko Shaku Zaku”, in rec.arts.anime.misc (Usenet):
      See below, in which she cosplays as Char Aznable and the character she seiyuu'd []