yokozuna

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Japanese 横綱 ‘wide rope’, the symbol of their rank worn about the waist.

Noun[edit]

yokozuna (plural yokozunas or yokozuna)

  1. (sumo) The highest rank of sumo wrestler, above ozeki; grand champion.
    • 1997, Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha, Vintage, page 202:
      A yokozuna is the very highest rank in sumo – “just like Mameha's position in Gion,” as Nobu explained it to me. I had no reason to doubt him; but if Mameha ever took half as much time entering a party as these yokozuna took entering the ring, she'd certainly never be invited back.
  2. (sumo) A person holding the rank, either competing at the rank or retired after having achieved it.
    • 2006, Mark Panek, Gaijin Yokozuna: A Biography of Chad Rowan, page 265:
      What mattered most was that, from the very top of the Nihon Sumo Kyōkai, Yokozuna Akebono had been shown respect.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Technically, yokozuna is an honorary title, rather than a rank.