- (in Japan) a form of decorative gateway or portal, consisting of two upright wooden posts connected at the top by two horizontal crosspieces, commonly found at the entrance to Shinto temples.
Origin of torii
1720–30; < Japanese, equivalent to tori bird + (w)i perch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for torii
This latter I will describe when Japan, the land of the torii, is the topic.Travels in the Far East</p>
Ellen Mary Hayes Peck
All the beautiful gateways or torii, as they are called, are works of art.The Critic in the Orient
George Hamlin Fitch
Kiyonobu I, the founder of the Torii line, was born in 1664 and died in 1729.
In subject and in manner, it is the Torii tradition that he carries on.
The usual etymology of Torii is bird-perch; from Torĭ, a bird.An Artist's Letters From Japan
John La Farge
- a gateway, esp one at the entrance to a Japanese Shinto temple
C19: from Japanese, literally: a perch for birds
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 torii
singular and plural, "gateway to a Shinto temple," Japanese, from tori "bird" + i "to sit, to perch."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper