san·​to·​ku | \ ˌsan-ˈtō-kü How to pronounce santoku (audio) \
plural santokus

Definition of santoku

: a medium-sized, multipurpose kitchen knife of Japanese origin that has a lightweight blade with a straight or slightly curved cutting edge and a spine that curves downward to the tip The santoku has long been the Japanese equivalent of a chef's knife … . Compared with a classic chef's knife, the santoku is typically shorter and has a thinner blade, a stubbier tip, and a straighter edge.— Maryellen Driscoll

Examples of santoku in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The most common one in the U.S. is the santoku, which is a general-purpose knife that’s distinct from Western-style blades in a few important ways. Edmund Torr, Popular Science, 25 Feb. 2021 Two common shapes in the U.S. are the gyuto (chef’s knife) and the shorter santoku. Sarah Jampel, Bon Appétit, 9 Nov. 2020

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

First Known Use of santoku

1993, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for santoku

borrowed from Japanese santoku-(bōchō), literally, "three-virtues (knife)," from san "three" + toku "virtue"

Note: The Japanese word supposedly refers to the multiple functions of the knife (an adaptation of Western kitchen knives), though its precise origin has not been illuminated.

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The first known use of santoku was in 1993

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Dictionary Entries Near santoku

Santo Domingo



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Cite this Entry

“Santoku.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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