tan·​ka | \ ˈtäŋ-kə How to pronounce tanka (audio) \

Definition of tanka

: an unrhymed Japanese verse form of five lines containing five, seven, five, seven, and seven syllables respectively also : a poem in this form — compare haiku

Examples of tanka in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web His haiku and tanka translations influenced Pound, Rexroth, and others. Jonathan Dee, The New Yorker, "Why Lafcadio Hearn’s Ghost Stories Still Haunt Us," 9 Sep. 2019

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

First Known Use of tanka

circa 1877, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tanka


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Time Traveler for tanka

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The first known use of tanka was circa 1877

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Cite this Entry

“Tanka.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tanka. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tanka

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tanka

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tanka

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tanka

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