Share this entry
sumi Syllabification: su·mi
Pronunciation: /ˈso͞omē/

Definition of sumi in English:


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'.

Definition of sumi in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources