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tatami

[tuh-tah-mee] /təˈtɑ mi/
noun, plural tatami, tatamis.
1.
(in Japanese houses) any of a number of thick, woven straw mats of uniform dimensions, about three feet by six feet (91 cm by 183 cm), the placing of which determines the dimensions of an interior.
Origin
1895-1900
1895-1900; < Japanese, noun use of v.: to fold up
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for tatami
  • Ryokans vary in size and function, but usually feature a futon in place of a bed and tatami mats on the floor.
  • The delicate scent of fresh tatami mats usually fills the air.
  • Upstairs there are tatami rooms, and the place always seems full, which is a good sign.
  • When walking on tatami it is customary to shuffle, to avoid causing disturbance.
  • A special tatami is used which has a cutout section providing access to the hearth.
British Dictionary definitions for tatami

tatami

/təˈtɑːmɪ; tæˈtæmɪ/
noun (pl) -mi, -mis
1.
a thick rectangular mat of woven straw, used as a standard to measure a Japanese room
Word Origin
Japanese
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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Word Origin and History for tatami

1610s, from Japanese tatami.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for tatami

rectangular mat used as a floor covering in Japanese houses. It consists of a thick straw base and a soft, finely woven rush cover with cloth borders. A tatami measures approximately 180 by 90 cm (6 by 3 feet) and is about 5 cm (2 inches) thick. In shinden and shoin domestic architecture, tatami completely cover the floor.

Learn more about tatami with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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8
9
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