What is a waifu?

A fictional female that a real person has a crush on

Anime, manga, and video game superfans use the word waifu to refer to a fictional character they have an affinity for or are in love with. Generally, young male fans use this word to refer to female characters for whom they feel strong affection.

A fan's devotion to and love for their waifu can vary. Some fans might casually refer to their favorite female character in a game or anime as their waifu. Others might go all out, purchasing multiple posters, statues, and other merchandise that features their waifu, and taking these physical representations of their waifu out on romantic dates.

Where does waifu come from?

Waifu is a Japanese variant of the English word wife. While waifu has been in use since the 1980s, it acquired its more specific, pop culture-oriented meaning in the early 2000s.

In the 2002 anime Azumanga Daioh, a teacher named Mr. Kimura drops a photo of a woman on his classroom floor. When his students ask who the woman is, Mr. Kimura responds "mai waifu." After being used in Azumanga Daioh, waifu became popular among anime and manga fans on 4chan's /a/ discussion board, who gave waifu its current meaning.

Is there a male equivalent of waifu?

The male equivalent of a waifu is a husbando. However, because anime, manga, and video game fans less often discuss having a crush on fictional male characters, you're less likely to encounter the term husbando.


I consider Yuna from FFX my waifu
A Twitter user posting a picture of their waifu
A Twitter user posting a picture of their waifu

Related Slang


Updated December 8, 2021

Waifu definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Waifu" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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