Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


One of a line of military commanders who from 1192 until 1867 were generally the actual rulers of Japan, although nominally subordinate to the emperor.

[Japanese shōgun, general, from Middle Chinese tsiaŋkyn (also the source of Mandarin jiāngjūn) : tsiaŋ, to take, bring, undertake, support + kyn, army.]


1. (Historical Terms) (from 794 ad) a chief military commander
2. (Military) (from 794 ad) a chief military commander
3. (Historical Terms) (from about 1192 to 1867) any of a line of hereditary military dictators who relegated the emperors to a position of purely theoretical supremacy
4. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) (from about 1192 to 1867) any of a line of hereditary military dictators who relegated the emperors to a position of purely theoretical supremacy
[C17: from Japanese, from Chinese chiang chün general, from chiang to lead + chün army]
ˈshoˌgunal adj


(ˈʃoʊ gən, -gʌn)

the title of the chief military commanders of Japan from the 8th to 12th centuries, later applied to the hereditary officials who governed Japan, with the emperor as nominal ruler, until 1868.
[1605–15; < Japanese shōgun, general]
sho′gun•ate (-gə nɪt, -ˌneɪt) n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.shogun - a hereditary military dictator of Japanshogun - a hereditary military dictator of Japan; the shoguns ruled Japan until the revolution of 1867-68
Japanese, Nipponese - a native or inhabitant of Japan
potentate, dictator - a ruler who is unconstrained by law
References in periodicals archive ?
Shogun belts out his melodic vocals with attitude and soul.
SHOGUN can spearhead a good day for Aidan O'Brien at The Curragh with victory in the featured Galileo EBF Futurity Stakes.
SHOGUN, which created a favourable impression winning his maiden at the Curragh last month, is strongly-fancied to follow-up in the Group 2 Galileo Futurity Stakes tomorrow at the Curragh.
This improved fourth generation Mitsubishi Shogun offers a smarter look with loads of space, decent value for money and an unstoppable feel.
In fact, like Land Rover's iconic Defender, the Mitsubishi Shogun is something of a long-serving utilitarian workhorse that stays true to its roots.
Auto Business News-May 22, 2015--Details of new Mitsubishi Shogun revealed
ALL but unstoppable is how Mitsubishi describes latest versions of its heavy duty off-roader, the long wheelbase Shogun.
IF your kids, like mine, love watching telly or gaming, they'll love the top-of-the-range Mitsubishi Shogun.
The femur in the left leg of one-and-a-half year old Shogun was broken into five pieces when a speeding car hit him two weeks ago.
ONE of the most iconic 4x4s on the road, the Mitsubishi Shogun, has had its price cut by up to PS5,000.
Mitsubishi sells a CV version, the Shogun Commercial, available in a range of specifications and with prices reduced by up to PS4,180.
JAPANESE restaurant Shogun Teppanyaki has agreed a move to The Cube - as part of plans to make the city centre building Birmingham's home of "theatrical" eating.