[ boo n-rah-koo ]
/ bʊnˈrɑ ku /

noun (sometimes initial capital letter)

a form of Japanese puppet theater in which puppeteers, dressed in black and visible to the audience, manipulate large puppets to the accompaniment of a chanted narration and musical instruments.

Nearby words

  1. bunny,
  2. bunny boiler,
  3. bunny hop,
  4. bunny hug,
  5. bunodont,
  6. buns,
  7. bunsen,
  8. bunsen burner,
  9. bunsen's solubility coefficient,
  10. bunsen, robert wilhelm

Origin of bunraku

1915–30; < Japanese, from the Bunraku(-za), an Osaka theater of 1789–1801, literally, literature enjoyment (theater) < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese wén +

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bunraku


/ (bʊnˈrɑːkuː) /


a Japanese form of puppet theatre in which the puppets are usually about four feet high, with moving features as well as limbs and each puppet is manipulated by up to three puppeteers who remain onstage

Word Origin for bunraku

C20: 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