ju·​do ˈjü-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce judo (audio)
: a sport developed from jujitsu that emphasizes the use of quick movement and leverage to throw an opponent
judoist noun

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Judo is a martial art that emphasizes the use of quick movement and leverage to throw an opponent. Its techniques are generally intended to turn an opponent's force to one's own advantage rather than to oppose it directly. The opponent must be thrown cleanly, pinned, or mastered through the application of pressure to arm joints or the neck. Judo evolved out of the older martial art jujitsu in late-19th-century Japan, but it is now practiced primarily as sport. It became an Olympic sport for men in 1964; women's judo was added in 1992.

Examples of judo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web My character had to be proficient in both judo and sumo, so mastering both martial arts became a crucial requirement. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 25 Oct. 2023 But the gripping sports drama Tatami, which follows a female judo champ whose career is severely jeopardized by Iran’s government during an international tournament, is more than just a promising collaboration between two filmmakers hailing from opposing sides of a major conflict. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Oct. 2023 One martial art with comparatively strong governance is judo, which focuses more on throws and takedowns but like Brazilian jujitsu traces its lineage back to Japanese forms of jujitsu. John Wiegand, New York Times, 17 Sep. 2023 Match commentary is used effectively to give unfamiliar audiences a low-key tutorial in various judo protocols, and also proves a handy vehicle for some necessary exposition. Catherine Bray, Variety, 3 Sep. 2023 While judo and mixed martial arts are not sanctioned by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, Harrison honed her craft as a teen and mastered it as an adult. Alex Harrison, The Enquirer, 24 June 2022 Putin had tapped a longtime friend and judo partner, Arkady Rotenberg, to oversee its costly construction. Laris Karklis, Washington Post, 17 July 2023 These athletes, individuals with intellectual disabilities, are vying for medals in events including judo, powerlifting, badminton, and bocce. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 22 June 2023 Baldonado, whose sporting pursuits were soccer, judo, and swimming growing up, was first attracted to football at 13, but the burgeoning receiver didn’t stick with it because of the travel. Jim McBride, BostonGlobe.com, 17 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'judo.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Japanese jūdō, from weakness, gentleness + art

First Known Use

1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of judo was in 1889

Dictionary Entries Near judo

Cite this Entry

“Judo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/judo. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ju·​do ˈjüd-ō How to pronounce judo (audio)
plural judos
: a sport developed from jujitsu in which opponents attempt to throw each other by using quick movements and leverage

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