tan·​ka ˈtäŋ-kə How to pronounce tanka (audio)
: 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 Each photo is combined with a tanka (a five-line, 31-syllable poem) written through the lens of a 10-year-old girl encountering the Jews for the first time, composed by poet Hiroko Yamagata. Josh Hasten, Sun Sentinel, 21 Sep. 2022 Her third and most critically acclaimed film, Forever a Woman (1955), is a tender, yearning portrait of a tanka poet with breast cancer and one of the first films anywhere to show a mastectomy. Lisa Wong MacAbasco, Vogue, 18 Mar. 2022 His haiku and tanka translations influenced Pound, Rexroth, and others. Jonathan Dee, The New Yorker, 9 Sep. 2019

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tanka.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

circa 1877, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tanka was circa 1877

Dictionary Entries Near tanka

Cite this Entry

“Tanka.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tanka. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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