Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

kung fu

noun \ˌkəŋ-ˈfü, ˌku̇ŋ-\

Simple Definition of kung fu

  • : a form of fighting without weapons that was developed in China : a Chinese martial art

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of kung fu

  1. :  any of various Chinese martial arts and related disciplines that are practiced especially for self-defense, exercise, and spiritual growth

Origin and Etymology of kung fu

Chinese (Beijing) gōngfu skill, art

First Known Use: 1966

Rhymes with kung fu

accrue, achoo, adieu, ado, Agnew, aircrew, airscrew, anew, askew, babu, Baku, bamboo, battu, battue, bayou, bedew, beshrew, bestrew, bijou, boo-boo, boubou, brand-new, breakthrough, burgoo, cachou, can-do, canoe, caoutchouc, Carew, Cebu, Chonju, construe, Corfu, corkscrew, coypu, CQ, cuckoo, curfew, debut, Depew, doo-doo, ecu, endue, ensue, eschew, floor-through, fondue, fordo, Gansu, Gentoo, Gifu, goo-goo, GQ, ground crew, gumshoe, guru, hairdo, hereto, Hindu, home brew, Honshu, horseshoe, how-to, HQ, Hutu, igloo, imbrue, imbue, IQ, jackscrew, K2, Kansu, karoo, Karoo, kazoo, Khufu, Kwangju, leadscrew, lean-to, long view, make-do, Matthew, me-too, mildew, milieu, miscue, misdo, muumuu, non-U, old-shoe, one-two, on view, outdo, perdu, Peru, poilu, prau, preview, pursue, purview, ragout, redo, renew, Renfrew, review, revue, rough-hew, run-through, sandshoe, Sardou, see-through, set-to, setscrew, shampoo, sinew, skiddoo, snafu, snowshoe, soft-shoe, span-new, subdue, surtout, taboo, Taegu, tattoo, thank-you, thereto, thumbscrew, to-do, too-too, tree shrew, undo, undue, unglue, unscrew, untrue, vatu, vendue, venue, virtu, voodoo, wahoo, walk-through, wherethrough, whereto, who's who, worldview, yahoo, yoo-hoo

KUNG FU Defined for Kids

kung fu

noun \ˌkəŋ-ˈfü, ˌku̇ŋ-\

Definition of kung fu for Students

  1. :  an art of self-defense without weapons that was developed in China

Learn More about kung fu

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up kung fu? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an indentation on an edge or a surface

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of namby-pamby?

lithe energetic insipid insightful
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.