Definition of kanji in English:



  • A system of Japanese writing using Chinese characters.

    Compare with kana

    ‘With tens of thousands of Japanese characters - or kanji, based on Chinese ideograms - to choose from, the possibilities would seem limitless.’
    • ‘Japanese features three reading systems: hiragana, katakana and kanji.’
    • ‘Written Japanese consists of three types of characters: kanji, hiragana, and katakana.’
    • ‘The key words are usually in Chinese characters, the traditional kanji.’
    • ‘Reflecting the change in Japanese consumers' attitudes, supermarket operators are beginning to show tags in kanji characters for North Korean products.’
    • ‘Forty-nine percent said they can read some kanji Chinese characters.’
    • ‘Buddhist temple coins here in Japan are inscribed with kana syllables, not kanji ideograms.’
    • ‘Most texts incorporate both kana and kanji systems.’
    • ‘Thus, the systematic combination of kanji and kana, and to a limited extent, of romaji in the Japanese orthography, provides rich sources for research and pedagogy.’
    • ‘If the name is written in kanji, or picture characters, the chances go down.’



/ˈkänjē/ /ˈkɑndʒi/


Japanese, from kan ‘Chinese’ + ji ‘character’.