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 two offerings from Kikuichi Cutlery are a Japanese take on a Western-style chef's knife known as a gyuto, and a six-inch bun'ka which resembles a santoku with a more aggressive snout. Joe Ray, WIRED, "You Need a New Kitchen Knife," 18 May 2018

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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Cite this Entry

“Santoku.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2020.

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