kana

[ kah-nuh; Japanese kah-nah ]
/ ˈkɑ nə; Japanese ˈkɑ nɑ /

noun

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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British Dictionary definitions for kana

kana
/ (ˈkɑːnə) /

noun

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
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