Definition of hokku in US English:



  • another term for haiku
    • ‘The basic pattern of the hokku in three lines, followed by alternation of two and three, ending with two had to be maintained.’
    • ‘He took this opening verse, the hokku, and refined it to become what is now known as the haiku.’
    • ‘Some of his hokku capture a moment of heightened awareness in which the boundary between subject and object seems to disappear.’
    • ‘There are some thoughts and choices to be made before the hokku is written.’
    • ‘Haiku written before 1892 are more correctly known as hokku, the beginning verse of hakkai poetry.’
    • ‘It was only in the 19th century that the hokku became haiku and was stripped of its connection to the renga.’
    • ‘His versions of the hokku are also among the most literal.’
    • ‘While old hokku avoided some topics such as romance, sex, and overt violence, contemporary haiku often deals specifically with such themes.’


Japanese, literally ‘opening verse’ (of a linked sequence of comic verses).