[kah-tuh-kah-nuh; Japanese kah-tah-kah-nah]
- the more angular, less commonly used of the two Japanese syllabaries.
Origin of katakana
1720–30; < Japanese, equivalent to kata part (of kanji) + kana kana
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- one of the two systems of syllabic writing employed for the representation of Japanese, based on Chinese ideograms. It is used mainly for foreign or foreign-derived words
Japanese, from kata side + kana
Word Origin and History for katakana
from Japanese katakana, from kata "side" + kana "borrowed letter(s)."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper