"Nakama" (仲間?) is a Japanese word that directly translates to friend, comrades, and under some context, such as in the manga 'One Piece', crewmates.

Most fans of the series believes the word means "people who are considered closer than family", though that is not a part of the official dictionary definition of the word
by UnknownMugiwara March 18, 2013
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Nakama (仲間) is a Japanese word, generally defined as "someone one is close with and with whom one does something together".

In English, the word most closely translates to "comrade", "companion", "fellow" or "one of us (/them)". It can also be used to refer to a close colleague / a friend at one's workplace ("shigoto-nakama", 仕事仲間), or, for example, a friend with whom one partakes in a hobby (e.g. "geemu-nakama", ゲーム仲間; "fellow gamer").
Although nakama technically translates to "comrade", the word is not used in communist contexts. People who share the same ideal and work toward a "greater cause" would tend to use the word "doushi" (同志) instead. This is equivalent to "tongzhi" in Chinese, and is used in a similar fashion.
The word nakama has gained some international recognition due to its prominent usage in the anime, One Piece. In One Piece the word is often used to denote a very close comrade or ally. This usage corresponds to the definition of 'nakama' as given in the Iwanami Japanese Dictionary: "People who have maintained a close relationship for a fairly long time, who share the same feelings (lit. "whose hearts are united") and who do something together" (JP: 心を合わせて何かをいっしょにするという間柄をかなりの期間にわたって保っている人 そういう間柄 ).
Basic usage 1: "Is that girl over there your nakama?" (~= "Is that girl over there with you guys?")
Basic usage 2: "We'll never get our voices heard as long as we're so few in number. We need to find more nakama." (~= "We need to find more allies / people who support our cause.")
Basic usage 3: "If you needed help, why didn't you tell me? We're nakama, right?" (~= "We're comrades/colleagues/allies, right?")
Basic anime example: "I'll protect my nakama." (~= "I'll protect my friends/mates/companions.")
One Piece example: "Don't you dare lay your hands on my nakama." (~= "Don't you dare lay your hands on my comrade/companion.")
by VVayfarer March 10, 2020
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The Japanese term for friend(s), buddy(ies), crew, ally(/ies) comrade(s), or gang. In the Japanese version of the anime One Piece, this term has a deeper meaning, describing friends who are more like family, especially in the context of Luffy's crew. Because of this, many popular fansubs of it do not translate this term.
"I WILL NEVER BETRAY MY NAKAMA!!" - Luffy in a fit of rage
by Super_Mew January 14, 2006
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Nakama is the Japanese word for a very good friend. Calling someone your nakama is like telling someone you love them in a non-romantic way.

This is often used in anime, such as One Piece or Bleach, to show deep attachment between characters and thus mostly left untranslated in fansubs.
-You'd really do this for me?
-Of course, we're nakama after all.
by Zexion's Somebody March 26, 2010
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Nakama means best friend, or something to that extent.
"Nami is my nakama!" quoth Luffy.
by Alexi July 15, 2004
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A very, VERY pretty Japanese woman who is a famous actress and singer in Japan. Has been on tv shows like Trick and in movies such as Ringu 0.
What the hell is Lucy Liu doing on TV? Give me Yukie Nakama!
by mikekk67 January 5, 2004
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