A kamikaze is a word for either the pilot or the plane used in suicide missions by the Japanese in World War II.

Any job in combat is difficult and could result in death, but one duty is considerably riskier than others: being a kamikaze. These Japanese pilots engaged in suicide missions: their goal was not only to harm the enemy, but they sacrificed their lives while doing so, crashing their planes. A kamikaze could be the pilot or the plane, and you can also speak of kamikaze missions. Today, the word is sometimes used for any situation that seems suicidal or risky.

Definitions of kamikaze

n a pilot trained and willing to cause a suicidal crash

Type of:
airplane pilot, pilot
someone who is licensed to operate an aircraft in flight
suicide bomber
a terrorist who blows himself up in order to kill or injure other people

n a fighter plane used for suicide missions by Japanese pilots in World War II

Type of:
attack aircraft, fighter, fighter aircraft
a high-speed military or naval airplane designed to destroy enemy aircraft in the air

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.