• synonyms


noun, plural ta·ta·mi, ta·ta·mis.
  1. (in Japanese houses) any of a number of thick, woven straw mats of uniform dimensions, about three feet by six feet (91 cm by 183 cm), the placing of which determines the dimensions of an interior.
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Origin of tatami

From Japanese, dating back to 1895–1900, noun use of v.: to fold up
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tatami

Historical Examples

  • Roughly her ladyship threw her aside, face upward on the tatami.

    Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House)

    James S. De Benneville

  • She waited the reply, eyes cast down on the tatami, for she at least had some remains of modesty.

  • A score of wine casks lay tumbled, the liquor spilled on the tatami.

  • The place completely surrounded, tatami were taken from the neighbouring houses for use as shields against the arrows.

  • In the course of a few weeks O'Iwa was living in one room, furnished with three tatami in lieu of the usual twelve in number.

British Dictionary definitions for tatami


noun plural -mi or -mis
  1. a thick rectangular mat of woven straw, used as a standard to measure a Japanese room
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Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for tatami

1610s, from Japanese tatami.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper