ku·​do | \ ˈkü-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce kudo (audio) , ˈkyü- \
plural kudos\ ˈkü-​(ˌ)dōz How to pronounce kudo (audio) , ˈkyü-​ \

Definition of kudo

1 : award, honor a score of honorary degrees and … other kudosTime
2 : compliment, praise rarely hear that kind of kudo to men anymore— Ellen Goodman

Is kudo a word?: Usage Guide

Some commentators hold that since kudos is a singular word it cannot be used as a plural and that the word kudo is impossible. But kudo does exist; it is simply one of the most recent words created by back-formation from another word misunderstood as a plural. Kudos was introduced into English in the 19th century; it was used in contexts where a reader unfamiliar with Greek could not be sure whether it was singular or plural. By the 1920s it began to appear as a plural, and about 25 years later kudo began to appear. It may have begun as a misunderstanding, but then so did cherry and pea.

Examples of kudo in a Sentence

an honorary degree from her alma mater that is simply the latest kudo for an outstanding career in journalism a kudo is in order for the way the young people acquitted themselves at their first formal dance
Recent Examples on the Web The country music legend was announced Tuesday as a 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, yet another industry kudo in a career brimming with accolades. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 4 May 2022 The series nabbed multiple Emmy nominations during its eight-season run, including four bids for best drama series and five mentions for Hall, as well as a Peabody Award kudo in 2008. Mónica Marie Zorrilla, Variety, 11 Jan. 2022 In accepting the kudo, Nelson took part in a wide-ranging virtual conversation about his career with Variety contributing writer Addie Morfoot. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 26 Aug. 2021 The kudos continued into draft weekend, when the Jones family lauded McCarthy’s wisdom and input throughout the evaluation and selection process. Jori Epstein, USA TODAY, 21 May 2020 His trouble is that kudos abroad isn’t translating into support at home as Ireland moves on from the painful saga imposed upon it by its larger neighbor. Dara Doyle, Bloomberg.com, 5 May 2020 Comments flooded in on the post, giving kudos to Hanover. Amanda Jackson, CNN, 3 Mar. 2020 President Donald Trump even gave the banks his personal kudos. Keith Campbell, Bloomberg.com, 5 May 2020 Master & Dynamic didn’t give the MW07 a companion app, but kudos for being the only company here to include full USB-C charging cables with its headphones. Will Egensteiner, Popular Mechanics, 28 Apr. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kudo.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of kudo

1926, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for kudo

back-formation from kudos (taken as a plural)

Learn More About kudo

Dictionary Entries Near kudo




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for kudo

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Kudo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kudo. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!