Definition of pillow word in US English:

pillow word


  • In Japanese classical verse: a decorative word or short phrase placed before a name or other word, for the sake of imagery, euphony, metre, or solemnity.


Late 19th century; earliest use found in Basil Hall Chamberlain (1850–1935), Japanologist. From pillow + word, after Japanese makura-kotoba pillow word.


pillow word

/ˈpɪləʊ wəːd/