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torii

[tawr-ee-ee, tohr-]
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noun, plural to·ri·i.
  1. (in Japan) a form of decorative gateway or portal, consisting of two upright wooden posts connected at the top by two horizontal crosspieces, commonly found at the entrance to Shinto temples.
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Origin of torii

1720–30; < Japanese, equivalent to tori bird + (w)i perch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for torii

Historical Examples

  • This latter I will describe when Japan, the land of the torii, is the topic.

    Travels in the Far East

    Ellen Mary Hayes Peck

  • All the beautiful gateways or torii, as they are called, are works of art.

    The Critic in the Orient

    George Hamlin Fitch

  • In subject and in manner, it is the Torii tradition that he carries on.

    Chats on Japanese Prints

    Arthur Davison Ficke

  • Kiyonobu I, the founder of the Torii line, was born in 1664 and died in 1729.

    Chats on Japanese Prints

    Arthur Davison Ficke

  • The usual etymology of Torii is bird-perch; from Torĭ, a bird.


British Dictionary definitions for torii

torii

noun plural -rii
  1. a gateway, esp one at the entrance to a Japanese Shinto temple
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Word Origin

C19: from Japanese, literally: a perch for birds
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 torii

n.

singular and plural, "gateway to a Shinto temple," Japanese, from tori "bird" + i "to sit, to perch."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper