noun san·to·ku \ˌsan-ˈtō-kü\

Definition of santoku



  1. :  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>

Origin and Etymology of santoku

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

First Known Use: 1993

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