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kana

[kah-nuh; Japanese kah-nah] /ˈkɑ nə; Japanese ˈkɑ nɑ/
noun
1.
a Japanese syllabic script consisting of 71 symbols and having two written varieties.
Compare hiragana, katakana.
Origin
1720-1730
1720-30; < Japanese; earlier kanna, kari-na makeshift names (i.e., characters) as opposed to ma-na true characters, i.e., kanji
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for kana
  • It showed up perfectly in the preview, but now the kanji and kana appear as question marks.
British Dictionary definitions for kana

kana

/ˈkɑːnə/
noun
1.
the Japanese syllabary, which consists of two written varieties See hiragana, katakana
Word Origin
C18: from Japanese, literally: borrowed or provisional letters; compare kanji, which are regarded as real letters
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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kana in Technology

Japanese
The two Japanese syllabaries, hiragana and katakana.
(2001-03-18)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Encyclopedia Article for kana

two parallel modern Japanese syllabaries (katakana and hiragana), each of which independently represents all the sounds of the Japanese language. Although each derives its simple elements from Chinese characters, the two serve different purposes and differ stylistically.

Learn more about kana with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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