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n. pl. zaibatsu
A Japanese conglomerate, especially a powerful family-controlled monopoly before World War II.
[Japanese : zai, wealth (from Early Middle Chinese dzəj; also the source of Mandarin cái) + batsu, powerful person or family (from Early Middle Chinese buat; also the source of Mandarin fá).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Sociology) (functioning as singular or plural) the group or combine comprising a few wealthy families that controls industry, business, and finance in Japan
[from Japanese, from zai wealth, from Chinese ts'ai + batsu family, person of influence, from Chinese fa]
n., pl. -tsu.
a great industrial or financial combination of Japan.
[1935–40; < Japanese, =zai wealth (< Middle Chinese, = Chinese cái) + batsu, derivative of bat clique (< Middle Chinese, = Chinese fá)]
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