noun, often attributive
kan·​ji | \ ˈkän-(ˌ)jē How to pronounce kanji (audio) \
plural kanji

Definition of kanji

: a Japanese system of writing that utilizes characters borrowed or adapted from Chinese writing also : a single character in the kanji system — compare kana

Examples of kanji in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Instead, the three kanji and a heart made a square. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "This Is How Ariana Grande Fixed Her "Small Barbecue" Hand Tattoo," 31 Jan. 2019 About Names explains that the name Kenzo is sometimes given to the third child of a family, and in kanji is often written using a character representing the number three when used in that context. Nick Vadala, Philly.com, "No, Kevin Hart probably did not name his child after a Philly neighborhood," 2 Oct. 2017 The intro screens are an unappealing mess of bad art and blurry kanji, the chiptunes ever so slightly grating. Chris Kohler, WIRED, "Hands-On: Gradius Rebirth, More Old-School WiiWare," 2 Sep. 2008

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kanji.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of kanji

1920, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kanji


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Time Traveler for kanji

Time Traveler

The first known use of kanji was in 1920

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Statistics for kanji

Cite this Entry

“Kanji.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kanji. Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on kanji

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kanji

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