yakuza(redirected from Ya-san)
Also found in: Thesaurus.
n. pl. yakuza
1. A loose alliance of Japanese criminal organizations and illegal enterprises.
2. A Japanese gangster.
[Japanese yakuza, card hand consisting of eight, nine, and three (the worst possible hand in a traditional Japanese card game in which a player's final score is the last digit of the sum of the values of the player's hand), good-for-nothing, yakuza : ya, eight (from Old Japanese) + ku, nine (from Early Middle Chinese kuw' (also the source of Mandarin jiǔ, nine), ultimately from Proto-Sino-Tibetan *d-ku; akin to Tibetan dgu) + za, alteration of san, three (from Middle Chinese sam; also the source of Mandarin sān; see sampan).]
n, pl -kuza
1. (Law) the yakuza a Japanese criminal organization involved in illegal gambling, extortion, gun-running, etc
2. (Law) a member of this organization
[C20: from Japanese ya eight + ku nine + za three, the worst hand in a game of cards]
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||yakuza - a Japanese gangster|
Nihon, Nippon, Japan - a constitutional monarchy occupying the Japanese Archipelago; a world leader in electronics and automobile manufacture and ship building
|2.||yakuza - organized crime in Japan; an alliance of criminal organizations and illegal enterprises|