There are 2 main definitions of japan in English:

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japan 1

Pronunciation: /dʒəˈpan/


[mass noun]
1A hard, dark, enamel-like varnish containing asphalt, used to give a black gloss to metal objects.
1.1A kind of varnish in which pigments are ground, typically used to imitate lacquer on wood.
1.2Articles made in a Japanese style, especially when decorated with lacquer or enamel-like varnish.

verb (japans, japanning, japanned)

[with object]
Cover (something) with a hard black varnish: (as adjective japanned) a japanned tin tray
More example sentences
  • This black varnish was applied presumably as an element of mourning, or, as Edwards suggested, either to match japanned furniture in the room or in reaction to the blackening of the silvering by tarnishing.
  • Hepplewhite is most associated with pierced and shield-back chairs often with wheels, lyres, or Prince of Wales feathers, and painted or japanned work of gold on black.
  • The red, black, and gold tones suggest lacquered or japanned decoration.


Late 17th century: from Japan.

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There are 2 main definitions of japan in English:

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Japan 2

Pronunciation: /dʒəˈpan/
A country in East Asia, occupying a festoon of islands in the Pacific roughly parallel with the east coast of the Asiatic mainland; population 127,078,700 (est. 2009); official language, Japanese; capital, Tokyo. Japanese name Nippon.

From the late 19th century Japan began a modernizing process which eventually made it into a major world power. It fought wars against China (1894-5) and Russia (1904-5), and after the First World War occupied Manchuria (1931) and invaded China (1937). Japan entered the Second World War on the Axis side with a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The country surrendered in 1945 after the dropping of atom bombs by the US on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan is now the most highly industrialized country and the leading economic power in the region

Words that rhyme with Japan

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