Definition of netsuke in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnetso͝oˌkē/

noun (plural same or netsukes /-kēz/)

A carved buttonlike ornament, especially of ivory or wood, formerly worn in Japan to suspend articles from the sash of a kimono.
Example sentences
  • The netsuke, with the kimono sash and a sliding bead, together formed a kind of removable hip pocket.
  • The numbers of original netsuke carved in ivory and wood were about equal.
  • There is a trend in connoisseurship to make the mistake of believing that a netsuke that is carved by a pupil in the style of his master and bearing his signature is in some way less powerful or inventive than one might expect from the master.


Late 19th century: from Japanese.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ne·tsu·ke

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