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From Japanese ワイフ (waifu), itself from English wife; popularized by 4chan. Doublet of wife.

Believed to have first appeared in concept in famous anime Azumanga Daioh, though be it the word is attested much older [1860].



waifu (plural waifu or waifus)

  1. (fandom slang, Internet slang) A fictional female character from non-live-action visual media (typically an anime, manga, or video game) to whom one is romantically attracted and/or whom one considers their significant other.
    • 2008 October 30, Galen, “Re: Japanese launch campaign to marry comic book characters”, in rec.arts.manga[1] (Usenet):
      So long as I get to claim my virtual waifu and our 30 virtual children as tax deductions, I don't really care if I can't touch her.
    • 2009 December 31, Dave Watson, “Re: K-ON! 2nd season announced”, in rec.arts.anime.misc[2] (Usenet):
      Seriously, it was fun, but here's hoping that they lay off some of the bits that got old real quick, like Mio getting scared easily. I would not like to have someone that timid as "mai waifu" (as if I'd marry a bloody high school girl anyway). Makes me wonder what that says about the otaku who worship her.
    • 2012, Dani Cavallaro, Kyoto Animation: A Critical Study and Filmography, McFarland & Company, published 2012, →ISBN, page 126:
      Bradley Meek's portrayal of Lucky☆Star's protagonist is particularly worthy of notice in assessing the anime's take on the art-play dyad: “Konata Izumi is a high school otaku hardcore enough to know trivia about seventies giant robot and tokusatsu shows,” the critic proposes, “but not hardcore enough to own a bodypillow of her waifu [a 2D significant other]. []
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:waifu.



Coordinate terms

Related terms





  1. Rōmaji transcription of ワイフ



Unadapted borrowing from English waifu.


  • (Brazil) IPA(key): /uˈaj.fu/ [ʊˈaɪ̯.fu], (faster pronunciation) /ˈwaj.fu/ [ˈwaɪ̯.fu]

  • Hyphenation: wai‧fu


waifu f (plural waifu or waifus)

  1. (fandom slang, Internet slang) waifu

Further reading

  • waifu” in Enciclopédia Significados (2011).
  • waifu” in Dicionário inFormal.