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haiku

[hahy-koo]
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noun, plural hai·ku for 2.
  1. a major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, and employing highly evocative allusions and comparisons, often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons.
  2. a poem written in this form.
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Origin of haiku

1895–1900; < Japanese, equivalent to hai(kai) haikai + ku stanza; see hokku
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for haiku

haiku

hokku

noun plural -ku
  1. an epigrammatic Japanese verse form in 17 syllables
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Word Origin

from Japanese, from hai amusement + ku verse
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 haiku

n.

1899, from Japanese, where it is singular of haikai, in haikai no renga "jesting linked-verse;" originally a succession of haiku linked together into one poem. The form developed mid-16c. "Traditionally, there is mention of a season of the year somewhere in a haiku, as a means of establishing the poem's tone, though this may be only the slightest suggestion." [Miller Williams, "Patterns of Poetry," Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1986].

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

haiku in Culture

haiku

[(heye-kooh)]

A form of Japanese poetry. A haiku expresses a single feeling or impression and contains three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables, respectively.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.