ta·​ta·​mi | \tä-ˈtä-mē, ta-\
plural tatami or tatamis

Definition of tatami 

: straw matting used as a floor covering in a Japanese home

Examples of tatami in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Born into a poor family of tatami-mat makers, the legally blind Asahara drew thousands of followers into his sect, which prophesied an imminent Armageddon in which its followers would seize power and achieve salvation. Author: Stuart Biggs, Gearoid Reidy, Anchorage Daily News, "Japan executes cult leader and 6 others for deadly 1995 sarin attack," 6 July 2018 Surrounding a main dining room with Western tables and chairs are the private zashiki rooms where shoes are left outside, floors are hidden under tatami mats and servers materialize at the sliding doors with the push of a button. New York Times, "The Restaurant That Became Japan’s Unofficial Ambassador," 3 July 2018 Magazine Nakahigashi’s restaurant, located not far from Monk, has only 12 counter seats (plus two small tatami rooms upstairs). Tom Downey, WSJ, "Explore Kyoto With the Chefs Who Are Turning Culinary Tradition on Its Head," 28 May 2018 On a smoggy day in late May, the Alibaba founder chooses to meet in his Japanese sitting room, with tatami mats, low-slung chairs, and traditional Chinese instrumental music playing softly on wall speakers. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Alibaba v. Tencent: The Battle for Supremacy in China," 21 June 2018 Watching sumo requires that visitors sit on tatami mats and are absolutely still and silent for approximately two hours. Scott Gilman, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Japan," 5 Oct. 2016 Team members, aware of Wright’s interest in Japanese aesthetics, also tested proportions based on the dimensions of a traditional tatami mat to fill in the gaps in the Banff drawing. Vipal Monga, WSJ, "The Quest to Recover a Lost Frank Lloyd Wright Building," 30 May 2018 The style of the property is traditional; tatami mats cover the floors, and most guests wear yukatas (a casual kimono) and tabi socks provided daily by the hotel. Jo Rodgers, Vogue, "Cherry Blossoms and Beyond: Go on a Nature Meditation in Japan," 29 Apr. 2018 Also lovingly displayed is the low tripod that Ozu used to shoot, as if from the point of view of a person seated on a tatami mat and participating in the scene. Peter Keough, BostonGlobe.com, "‘In Search of Ozu’ ponders a great director’s being and ‘nothingness’," 19 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of tatami

1614, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tatami


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The first known use of tatami was in 1614

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tatami

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tatami

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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