from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A small toggle, often in the form of a carved ivory or wood figure, used to secure a purse or container suspended on a cord from the sash of a kimono.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a small, often collectible, artistic carving characterized by an opening or two small holes (紐通し (himotōshi)), most commonly made of wood or ivory, used as a fob at the end of a cord attached to a suspended pouch containing pens, medicines, or tobacco. Netsuke originated in feudal Japan in the late 16th and 17th centuries.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. In Japanese costume and decorative art, a small object carved in wood, ivory, bone, or horn, or wrought in metal, and pierced with holes for cords by which it is connected, for convenience, with the inro, the smoking pouch (tabako-ire), and similar objects carried in the girdle. It is now much used on purses sold in Europe and America.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A small knob or button, of horn, wood, ivory, or other material, often elaborately carved or inlaid, lacquered, or decorated with enamel, used by the Japanese as a bob or toggle in connection with a cord for suspending a tobacco-pouch, inro, or similar article in the belt or girdle.
Japanese.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)