\ ˌher-i-ˈkir-ē How to pronounce hara-kiri (audio) , ˌha-ri-, -ˈker-ē, -ˈka-rē \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of hara-kiri

1 : ritual suicide by disembowelment practiced by the Japanese samurai or formerly decreed by a court in lieu of the death penalty

First Known Use of hara-kiri

1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hara-kiri

Japanese harakiri, from hara belly + kiri cutting

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The first known use of hara-kiri was in 1840

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Cite this Entry

“Hara-kiri.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hara-kiri. Accessed 23 Sep. 2020.

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