[on-uh-gah-tuh; Japanese awn-nah-gah-tah]


a male actor in kabuki who performs female roles.

Origin of onnagata

Borrowed into English from Japanese around 1900–05
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Word Origin and History for onnagata

in Kabuki and similar drama, a man who plays female roles, 1901, from Japanese, from onna "woman" + kata "figure."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper