Definition of sumi in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈso͞omē/


A type of black Japanese ink prepared in solid sticks and used for painting and writing.
Example sentences
  • The top is deeply black with rubbed sumi ink; the shading fades gradually toward a natural wood color base.
  • In the 16 paintings in this show (all but one produced in the last three years), Shinoda uses black sumi and cinnabar inks in asymmetrical compositions that balance empty space.
  • In America, some New York School artists took Japanese calligraphy and sumi painting, which is essentially abstract, as a new point of departure.


Early 20th century: Japanese, literally 'ink, blacking'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: su·mi

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