Definition of karate
: a Japanese art of self-defense employing hand strikes and kicks to disable or subdue an opponent
karateistplay \kə-ˈrä-tē-ist\ noun
Recent Examples of karate from the Web
The ex-Marine in a leather jacket transforms her students through karate, candy, and Bob Dylan lyrics.
In a long line of great Japanese inventions, from karate to sushi to the DVD, emojis may just about be one of Japan's greatest-ever exports.
Quentin Tarantino’s idol Sonny Chiba literally tears bad guys apart in a graphic karate-palooza. 10)
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'karate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of karate
Japanese, from kara empty + te hand
First Known Use: 1926See Words from the same year
KARATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of karate for English Language Learners
: a form of fighting that was developed in Japan in which your feet and hands are used to kick and hit an opponent : a Japanese martial art
KARATE Defined for Kids
Definition of karate for Students
: an art of self-defense developed in Japan in which an attacker is defeated by kicks and punches
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up karate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).