Definition of katakana in English:


Syllabification: ka·ta·ka·na
Pronunciation: /ˌkädəˈkänə


The more angular form of kana (syllabic writing) used in Japanese, primarily used for words of foreign origin. Compare with hiragana.
More example sentences
  • Some writing systems (such as Japanese katakana and hiragana) are syllable based.
  • Historically, there is no association at all between katakana and foreign words.
  • Japanese features three reading systems: hiragana, katakana and kanji.


early 18th century: Japanese, literally 'side kana'.

Definition of katakana in:

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