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[haw-koo, hok-oo] /ˈhɔ ku, ˈhɒk u/
noun, plural hokku. Prosody.
the opening verse of a linked verse series.
Origin of hokku
1895-1900; < Japanese, equivalent to hok opening, first + ku stanza; earlier fot-ku < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese depart + phrase Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hokku
Historical Examples
  • It must always be understood that there is an implied continuation to every Japanese hokku.

    Japanese Prints John Gould Fletcher
  • He reformed the hokku, by introducing into everything he wrote a deep spiritual significance underlying the words.

    Japanese Prints John Gould Fletcher
  • The concluding hemistich, whereby the hokku becomes the tanka, is existent in the writer's mind, but never uttered.

    Japanese Prints John Gould Fletcher
  • The reader can now see for himself what the main object of the hokku poetry is, and what it achieved.

    Japanese Prints John Gould Fletcher
  • That is not to say, that, by taking the letter for the spirit, we should in any way strive to imitate the hokku form.

    Japanese Prints John Gould Fletcher
  • The most attenuated form of all is the hokku (or haikai) which consists of only three lines, namely, 17 syllables.

British Dictionary definitions for hokku


noun (pl) -ku
(prosody) another word for haiku
Word Origin
from Japanese, from hok beginning + ku hemistich
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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