follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for kanas

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
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Article for kanas

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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for kana

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for kanas

9
10
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for kanas