ta·​ta·​mi tä-ˈtä-mē How to pronounce tatami (audio)
plural tatami or tatamis
: straw matting used as a floor covering in a Japanese home

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But these new apartments — known as three-tatami rooms, based on how many standard Japanese floor mats would cover the living space — are pushing the boundaries of normal living. Hikari Hida, New York Times, 3 Oct. 2022 By this time, phones up and down the counter have been lifted from their phone-size tatami mats. Pete Wells, New York Times, 15 Nov. 2022 Okubo's daughter, Atsuko, then emerges from an adjoining room to greet visitors and escort them up a tight flight of stairs to a second-floor tatami room, the traditional setting for the tea ceremony. Miki Lendon And Brad Lendon, CNN, 6 July 2022 But inside, walking around the two-story buildings, with their unusual mix of Japanese tatami and European furnishings, things are different; exhibits documenting Dejima’s past throw glimmers of light on its former residents. Rob Goss, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 May 2022 Fitted with traditional tatami flooring, luxuriously comfortable futon mattresses, and enormous soaking tubs, the 84 rooms here ensure complete serenity and peace. John Wogan, Travel + Leisure, 8 July 2020 Turkey's Bilal Çiloğlu, the world's No. 9 lightweight, screamed and put his fists to his head after Ono pinned him helplessly to the tatami for an ippon, his wails echoing down the corridors. Greg Beacham, Star Tribune, 26 July 2021 Before her, an audience of hundreds sits on tatami mats. Ben Dooley, New York Times, 13 Apr. 2020 The roadway was a river of fire, with homes and their contents, tatami mats, futons, rucksacks, all in flames. Brad Lendon And Emiko Jozuka, CNN, 7 Mar. 2020 See More

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

Word History



First Known Use

1614, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tatami was in 1614

Dictionary Entries Near tatami

Cite this Entry

“Tatami.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tatami. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on tatami

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?