Dictionary.com

koan

[ koh-ahn ]
/ ˈkoʊ ɑn /
Save This Word!

noun, plural ko·ans, ko·an.Zen.
a nonsensical or paradoxical question to a student for which an answer is demanded, the stress of meditation on the question often being illuminating.
QUIZ
QUIZ YOURSELF ON AFFECT VS. EFFECT!
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help
Compare mondo1.

Origin of koan

1945–50; <Japanese kōan, earlier koũ-an<Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese gōngàn public proposal

Words nearby koan

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use koan in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for koan

koan
/ (ˈkəʊæn) /

noun
(in Zen Buddhism) a problem or riddle that admits no logical solution

Word Origin for koan

from 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
FEEDBACK