What does domo mean in Japanese? It’s more than you think!

One of the cool things about Japanese is how the meanings of words change depending on the context that they are used in. One of those words is どうも (dōmo) and the best way to understand what it means is to see how it can be used. What does domo mean in Japanese? Check it out below!

どうも dōmo

Probably the most common translation is “thanks.”

  • どうも

When someone refills your drink at the table, or holds open a door for you, a quick どうも is a nice way to let them know that you appreciate their act of kindness.

But it can change its meaning when you combine it with other words. It changes to “very” when you combine it with ありがとう (arigatō), which is the more common word for “thank you.”

  • どうもありがとう
    dōmo arigatō
    Thank you very much!

I’m sure when you hear that phrase you think “dōmo arigatō, Mr. Robato” right?!

It can also mean “probably” as in “it probably won’t work”

  • どうもダメだろう
    dōmo dame darō
    It probably won’t work.


And I also recently learned that it can mean “hello” in certain situations.

  • どうもお久しぶりです
    dōmo o hisashiburi desu
    Hello, long time no see!


  • どうも、こんにちは
    dōmo konnichi wa
    Hello, hello!

Like I mentioned before, it’s a very versatile word! You should definitely learn it and try it out!

If you enjoyed this post, give it a like! And leave me a comment below! Thanks! 🙂


  • Joslynn

    Hello, I am glad I stopped to have a look at this page.

    I really like how your posts are easy to read, interesting and enthusiastic.

    I like learning new languages but I always end up getting bored pretty quick. I think you would make that process alot easier.

    How did you learn Japanese?

    Warm regards,

    • Nick Hoyt

      Hey Joslynn, I would recommend you start by checking out the “For Beginners” page to pick up the correct pronunciation. It’s pretty easy to do and you can saving yourself a lot trouble later if you nail that part down first. Check it out by clicking the link below!

      For Beginners

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