hi·​ra·​ga·​na ˌhir-ə-ˈgä-nə How to pronounce hiragana (audio)
: the cursive script that is one of two sets of symbols of Japanese syllabic writing compare katakana

Examples of hiragana in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are three main scripts: hiragana, katakana and kanji. Lynda Lin Grigsby, Good Housekeeping, 31 May 2023 The process works more smoothly for simpler scripts like Japanese hiragana and katakana, and is more involved for Chinese and some Korean hangul. Naaman Zhou, New York Times, 28 Sep. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hiragana.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Japanese, from hira- ordinary + kana syllabary

First Known Use

1859, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hiragana was in 1859

Dictionary Entries Near hiragana

Cite this Entry

“Hiragana.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hiragana. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

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