to·​rii | \ ˈtȯr-ē-ˌē How to pronounce torii (audio) \
plural torii

Definition of torii

: a Japanese gateway of light construction commonly built at the approach to a Shinto shrine

Illustration of torii

Illustration of torii

Examples of torii in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The shrine’s famous torii gate, however, is undergoing renovations that began in June 2019. Jay Cannon, USA TODAY, "Rich history in a modern society: These stunning Japanese landmarks stand the test of time," 5 Mar. 2020 Visitors walk along winding paths and pass through towering torii gates before entering. Lindsay Cohn, USA TODAY, "10 things to do in Tokyo: Kabuki plays, robot restaurants and more must-try experiences," 2 Jan. 2020 En route to the shrine, meet a local Shugendo priest to learn firsthand about this ascetic Buddhist sect that focuses on the connections between humans and nature, and pass under the majestic Oyunohara torii (wooden gateway). National Geographic, "Japan: Hiking and Cultural Adventure," 12 June 2019 There are Shinto torii gates at the base of the lifts and a few good-luck temple bells. Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, "Slow Skiing in Japan's Deep North," 11 Oct. 2018 The Shinto monument is renowned for its thousands of torii gates, which cover the hiking trails that wind up Mount Inari. Jo Rodgers, Vogue, "Cherry Blossoms and Beyond: Go on a Nature Meditation in Japan," 29 Apr. 2018 Visitors enter the conservatory through two 25-foot torii gates, similar to those found outside Japan's Shinto shrines. Jay Jones,, "Spring flowers and cherry trees bloom 24/7 at this Las Vegas resort," 21 Mar. 2018 The priest, sandals slapping, heads down a lane lined with stone lanterns and towering cryptomeria trees to a gateway, or torii, that bears the mountain’s name. Gilles Mingasson, Smithsonian, "Why Mount Fuji Endures As a Powerful Force in Japan," 29 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'torii.' 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 torii

1727, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for torii


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Time Traveler for torii

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The first known use of torii was in 1727

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Last Updated

24 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Torii.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on torii

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with torii Encyclopedia article about torii

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