[kah-nuh; Japanese kah-nah]


a Japanese syllabic script consisting of 71 symbols and having two written varieties.

Compare hiragana, katakana.

Origin of kana

1720–30; < Japanese; earlier kanna, kari-na makeshift names (i.e., characters) as opposed to ma-na true characters, i.e., kanji
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Examples from the Web for kana

Historical Examples of kana

  • His friend Kana, the suicide, was no longer to be the central figure.

    The Jewish State

    Theodor Herzl

  • If she had not said I Kana Kim he might have struck her with a caldron.

    In the South Seas

    Robert Louis Stevenson

  • As Kana′tĭ did not return, the boys at last concluded to go and find him.

  • Kana′tĭ was surprised, but said nothing, and they went on again.

  • Wolves—The wolf is regarded as the servant and watchdog of Kana′tĭ.

British Dictionary definitions for kana



the Japanese syllabary, which consists of two written varietiesSee hiragana, katakana

Word Origin for kana

C18: from Japanese, literally: borrowed or provisional letters; compare kanji, which are regarded as real letters
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