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tatami

[tuh-tah-mee]
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noun, plural ta·ta·mi, ta·ta·mis.
  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 of tatami

From Japanese, dating back to 1895–1900, noun use of v.: to fold up
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tatami

Historical Examples

  • Roughly her ladyship threw her aside, face upward on the tatami.

    Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House)

    James S. De Benneville

  • She waited the reply, eyes cast down on the tatami, for she at least had some remains of modesty.

  • A score of wine casks lay tumbled, the liquor spilled on the tatami.

  • The place completely surrounded, tatami were taken from the neighbouring houses for use as shields against the arrows.

  • In the course of a few weeks O'Iwa was living in one room, furnished with three tatami in lieu of the usual twelve in number.


British Dictionary definitions for tatami

tatami

noun plural -mi or -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

Word Origin and History for tatami

1610s, from Japanese tatami.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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