[ wah-kuh ]

noun,plural wa·ka, wa·kas.
  1. Prosody. tanka.

  2. poetry written in Japanese, as distinct from poetry written in Chinese by a Japanese writer, or poetry in other languages.

Origin of waka

1875–80; <Japanese: literally, Japanese song <Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese harmony (as a euphemistic reading of the character for dwarf, an ancient Chinese designation for the Japanese ) + song

Words Nearby waka

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use waka in a sentence

  • waka Nené carried on the fighting on his own account, and in a skirmish with him Heké was badly wounded.

    The Long White Cloud | William Pember Reeves
  • Four hundred soldiers, supported by as many Ngapuhi friendlies under waka Nené, marched against it.

    The Long White Cloud | William Pember Reeves
  • waka Nené was given a pension of £100 a year, and ostentatiously honoured and consulted.

    The Long White Cloud | William Pember Reeves
  • Amé-no-waka-hiko also, whom they sent, did not declare an answer, but immediately perished by the calamity of a bird on high.

    The Religions of Japan | William Elliot Griffis
  • At this moment Ame-waka was resting after the harvest feast.

    Old-World Japan | Frank Rinder

British Dictionary definitions for waka


/ (ˈwɔːkə) /

  1. a Māori canoe, usually made from a tree trunk

  2. a tribal group claiming descent from the first Māori settlers in New Zealand

Origin of waka


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