ka·​ra·​te | \ kə-ˈrä-tē How to pronounce karate (audio) \

Definition of karate

: a Japanese art of self-defense employing hand strikes and kicks to disable or subdue an opponent

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Other Words from karate

karateist \ kə-​ˈrä-​tē-​ist How to pronounce karateist (audio) \ noun

Examples of karate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Who cares if Moore doesn't actually know karate or kung fu? Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "First trailer for Dolemite Is My Name pays tribute to a blaxploitation legend," 12 Aug. 2019 Shaddock MMA Fitness class combines the toughest conditioning from boxing, karate, Jijiutsu and wrestling. baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Rec Sports: Meetings & Notices for Aug. 4, 2019," 3 Aug. 2019 According to NBC Sports, next year’s Olympics will also include six new sports: baseball, softball, surfing, karate, skateboarding and sports climbing. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Here’s the First Look at Tokyo’s Medals for the 2020 Olympics, Made from Recycled Electronics," 25 July 2019 Lane Rippey, a fourth-generation Coloradan, is on the honor roll at St. Mary’s Academy and is a first-degree black belt in American Taekwondo and a second-degree black belt in karate. Joanne Davidson, The Denver Post, "Central City Flower Girls have represented Colorado’s rich history for 87 years," 1 Aug. 2019 The Nippon Budokan, used for the judo competition in 1964, will once again hold judo events, as well as karate. Andy Kostka, USA TODAY, "From tickets to time zones, what you need to know about the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo," 24 July 2019 Surfing and skateboarding will join sport climbing, karate and the return of baseball/softball in the Olympic program on a one-time-only basis. Elliott Almond, The Mercury News, "With surfing and skateboarding added to Games, Tokyo Olympics will carry a California flavor," 24 July 2019 Cinematically speaking, there’s more of a striking appeal to karate. Randy Cordova, azcentral, "'The Art of Self-Defense' filmmaker Riley Stearns talks toxic masculinity and tattoos," 18 July 2019 Hence the pitiful moment when Casey, progressing to the next level in karate, earns a yellow belt. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "“The Farewell” Mixes Mourning and Revelry," 12 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of karate

1926, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for karate

Japanese, from kara empty + te hand

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Dictionary Entries near karate

Kara Su





Karatsu ware


Statistics for karate

Last Updated

19 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for karate

The first known use of karate was in 1926

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More Definitions for karate



English Language Learners Definition of karate

: 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


ka·​ra·​te | \ kə-ˈrä-tē How to pronounce karate (audio) \

Kids Definition of karate

: an art of self-defense developed in Japan in which an attacker is defeated by kicks and punches

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More from Merriam-Webster on karate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with karate

Spanish Central: Translation of karate

Nglish: Translation of karate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about karate

Comments on karate

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


not constant or steady

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