noun, plural tatami, tatamis.
(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.

1895–1900; < Japanese, noun use of v.: to fold up

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World English Dictionary
tatami (təˈtɑːmɪ, tæˈtæmɪ)
n , pl -mi, -mis
a thick rectangular mat of woven straw, used as a standard to measure a Japanese room

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Encyclopedia Britannica


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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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.
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