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onnagata

[on-uh-gah-tuh; Japanese awn-nah-gah-tah]
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noun
  1. a male actor in kabuki who performs female roles.
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Origin of onnagata

Borrowed into English from Japanese around 1900–05
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for onnagata

n.

in Kabuki and similar drama, a man who plays female roles, 1901, from Japanese, from onna "woman" + kata "figure."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper