kar·​ma | \ ˈkär-mə also ˈkər- How to pronounce karma (audio) \

Definition of karma

1 often capitalized : the force generated by a person's actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person's next existence Each individual is born with karma, the residual from past lives that must be resolved …— Diane Goldner broadly : such a force considered as affecting the events of one's life Claude says, "You reap what you sow." I call this idea karma, that what goes around comes around. — Anthony Walton I figured I needed all the good karma I could get if I was serious about winning Noah's heart. — Robin Palmer
2 : a characteristic emanation, aura, or spirit that infuses or vitalizes someone or something … he wrote a book entitled Maverick in which he talked about his drug use and his teammates' karma— Sam Smith Graffiti on the walls of trains or subway stations create bad karma.— Ed Koch

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Other Words from karma

karmic \ ˈkär-​mik How to pronounce karmic (audio) also  ˈkər-​ \ adjective

Examples of karma in a Sentence

She believes that helping people produces good karma. as the site of a string of failed businesses, the building definitely had bad karma

Recent Examples on the Web

Surely, that karma would wash over the place, and the Bruins would respond in kind. Kevin Cullen, BostonGlobe.com, "In the wake of a devastating Bruins loss, some perspective from the Greatest Generation," 13 June 2019 At this point, Cersei deserves every bit of bad karma that is coming her way and then some. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "This Is How Season 7 of 'Game of Thrones' Ended," 13 Apr. 2019 There’s this thought that a character should get his karma at the end of that episode. Aamina Khan, Teen Vogue, "Ramy Youssef Wants to "Complicate the Conversation" with His New Hulu Series," 19 Apr. 2019 For a team to win a championship, by necessity everything must go right, from good health to good chemistry to good karma. Dave Sheinin, chicagotribune.com, "Astros hoping to avoid the inevitable World Series hangover: 'We're not the Cubs'," 8 Mar. 2018 The Falcons overcame a late rally from the Barons (19-12), who hoped for some good karma. Matt Szabo, latimes.com, "Erickson powers Crescenta Valley baseball into CIF quarterfinals," 23 May 2018 That guy was responsible for the slaughter of Alejandro’s family, and in a twist of screenplay karma, Alejandro acquires extralegal custody of his enemy’s teenage daughter, Isabel Reyes (Isabela Moner). Taylor Sheridan, New York Times, "Review: ‘Sicario: Day of the Soldado’ Blends War Movie and Western," 28 June 2018 Luckily, Meghan has remained entirely unbothered, and is apparently relying on karma to handle things on her behalf. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Why Yes, That is Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex in a GIF Photobooth at the British Fashion Awards," 11 Dec. 2018 One Louisiana supermarket staffer is being showered in good karma, having received a new car and nearly $130,000 for college after video footage of him letting an autistic shopper help stock coolers went viral online. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Viral Louisiana supermarket employee given a new car," 23 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'karma.' 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 karma

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for karma

Sanskrit karma fate, work

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Statistics for karma

Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for karma

The first known use of karma was in 1827

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More Definitions for karma



English Language Learners Definition of karma

: the force created by a person's actions that is believed in Hinduism and Buddhism to determine what that person's next life will be like
informal : the force created by a person's actions that some people believe causes good or bad things to happen to that person

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Comments on karma

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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