tokonoma

noun

to·​ko·​no·​ma ˌtō-kə-ˈnō-mə How to pronounce tokonoma (audio)
: a niche or alcove in the wall of a Japanese house for the display of a decorative object

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The 34 Japanese-style rooms are archetypal of such establishments: tatami mat floors, low tables with legless chairs, an ornamental alcove (tokonoma), and sliding shoji screens characterize the accommodations. Christina Liao, Vogue, 12 Jan. 2018

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

Word History

Etymology

Japanese

First Known Use

1871, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tokonoma was in 1871

Dictionary Entries Near tokonoma

Cite this Entry

“Tokonoma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tokonoma. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on tokonoma

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ