kar·​ma ˈkär-mə How to pronounce karma (audio)
 also  ˈkər-
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
: 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' karmaSam Smith
Graffiti on the walls of trains or subway stations create bad karma.Ed Koch
ˈkär-mik How to pronounce karma (audio)
 also  ˈkər-

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 Some observe a Buddhist diet and begin the holiday with a vegan dish to bring good karma for the coming year. Kate Kassin, Bon Appétit, 14 Jan. 2023 Can a business bring good or bad karma to its organization? Darick Spears, Rolling Stone, 3 Oct. 2022 When a small-town con artist joins the local mafia with his manipulative brother, his obsession with balancing his karma gets hilariously brutal. Travis Bean, Forbes, 3 Aug. 2022 Saul Goodman certainly has plenty of bad karma to go around. Erik Kain, Forbes, 9 Aug. 2022

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

Word History


Sanskrit karma fate, work

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of karma was in 1827

Dictionary Entries Near karma

Cite this Entry

“Karma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/karma. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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