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 karate (audio) \ noun

Examples of karate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Following her summer 2009 assault, Abdelhamid -- already a black belt in karate -- made a fateful decision. Gregory Krieg, CNN, "Justice Democrats-backed activist Rana Abdelhamid challenges Rep. Carolyn Maloney in New York," 14 Apr. 2021 The Valley is still the Valley, where rock rules and karate is as bitchin’ as ever. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Poignant and funny, ‘Cobra Kai’ vividly captures a man stuck in the Valley of the ’80s," 1 Jan. 2021 Skateboarding isn’t the only new sport debuting at the Tokyo Olympics this summer—surfing, sport climbing, karate, and freestyle BMX also have that distinction, while baseball and softball make their return. Michelle Bruton, Forbes, "Olympic Hopefuls Mariah Duran And Heimana Reynolds: Olympics Will Show Skateboarders Are “Real Athletes”," 9 Apr. 2021 The Better Call Saul star trained for two years with stuntman Daniel Bernhardt, learning boxing, jujitsu, karate, and judo moves in order to execute the intricate fight sequences in the production. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "Bob Odenkirk thriller Nobody packs a punch at the box office with $6.7 million opening," 28 Mar. 2021 Not so academically-minded, Mr. Clifford put all of his focus in both clogging and karate. New York Times, "For Two Cloggers, 20 Years to Get in Step and Get Married," 19 Feb. 2021 There were so many great karate showdowns this season. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, "Cobra Kai stunt coordinators break down those kick-butt season 3 fights," 2 Apr. 2021 In the fourth, with little left to watch on the floor, Curry practiced karate moves on the sideline. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors face troubling questions after 53-point loss to Raptors," 2 Apr. 2021 The life and times of Bruce Lee, from his beginnings in Hong Kong to his rise as a karate expert and movie star. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week: ‘An American in Paris’; ‘Ben-Hur’," 26 Mar. 2021

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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Statistics for karate

Last Updated

1 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Karate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/karate. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on karate

Nglish: Translation of karate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about karate

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