Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Japanese syllabic writing. The characters are simplified kanji and are usually used with kanji primarily to write inflections, particles, and function words and to show the pronunciations of some kanji and of all foreign words.
  • noun Any of the characters used in this system.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Japanese writing as distinguished from Chinese, which is also used in Japan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The hiragana and katakana syllabaries. These are used to write Japanese words and particles using characters that represent syllables. Kana are derived from kanji.
  • noun A hiragana or katakana character.
  • noun Plural form of kana.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Japanese, from Old Japanese kanna, kana, contraction of karina (literally, provisional letter, as opposed to kanji which were considered to be Chinese characters in their true use) : kari-, provisional, not according to rule + na, name, letter.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Japanese 仮名 (kana, "syllabary").

Examples

  • Kurt Wimmer's style and ideas of gun kana is an interesting one, and it is the natural progression for those who master the weapons of their time.

    Filmstalker Review: Ultraviolet

  • A young participant takes a break after writing 'good friends' in Japanese kana characters during the New Year's calligraphy contest at the Budokan martial arts hall in Tokyo, Saturday,

    CTV News RSS Feed

  • The situation's then very similar to Japanese kana, which is the main thing I've heard called a moraic script.

    languagehat.com: LEPCHA [MORA].

  • In the history of civilization, three types of systems have been invented for relating a visual symbol to language content: an alphabet (as in English), a phonetic system (as in Japanese kana), and a logographic system (as in Chinese).

    MARKETING AESTHETICS

  • In the history of civilization, three types of systems have been invented for relating a visual symbol to language content: an alphabet (as in English), a phonetic system (as in Japanese kana), and a logographic system (as in Chinese).

    MARKETING AESTHETICS

  • In the history of civilization, three types of systems have been invented for relating a visual symbol to language content: an alphabet (as in English), a phonetic system (as in Japanese kana), and a logographic system (as in Chinese).

    MARKETING AESTHETICS

  • The period of Hei-an witnessed important progress in the art of writing, the invention of phonetic writing called kana, and the alphabet as it is at present, in forty-eight syllables.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • With the Heian epoch is connected the wide use of the phonetic script known as kana, which may be described as a syllabary of forty-seven symbols formed from abbreviated Chinese ideographs.

    A History of the Japanese People From the Earliest Times to the End of the Meiji Era

  • Men would U fck shamwari yemukadzi wako kana akauuya achikukumbira kukwirwa?

    Zimbabwe Telegraph and ZimDaily Forums

  • Men would U fck shamwari yemukadzi wako kana akauuya achikukumbira kukwirwa?

    Zimbabwe Telegraph and ZimDaily Forums

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