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Any of various Japanese verse forms alternating lines of five and seven morae with an additional last line of seven morae, especially tanka.

[Japanese : wa, Japanese, of Japan (from Early Middle Chinese ʔwa, Japan, the Japanese, also the source of Mandarin , archaic name for Japan) + ka, song, poem (from Middle Chinese ka; see tanka).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Nautical Terms) a Māori canoe, usually made from a tree trunk
2. (Peoples) a tribal group claiming descent from the first Māori settlers in New Zealand
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