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

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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 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, "‘100 miles per hour’: Five looming questions for Mike McCarthy in Year 1 with Cowboys," 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, "Brexit Halo Fades for a Leader Fighting for Survival," 5 May 2020 Comments flooded in on the post, giving kudos to Hanover. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "A woman had a blowout the way to work. This officer bought her two new tires," 3 Mar. 2020 President Donald Trump even gave the banks his personal kudos. Keith Campbell, Bloomberg.com, "Bullish U.S. Bankers in Davos Contrast With Gloomy Europe Peers," 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, "The Best Wireless Headphones for the Office, Traveling, and Working Out," 28 Apr. 2020 From writing songs dedicated to his work to praising even his American Sign Language interpreter, Virginia Moore, Beshear has been serenaded with love and kudos. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "'Indiana needs him': Southern Indiana residents rely on Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, too," 7 Apr. 2020 Heck, Mila Morgan steals a few scenes as the family's youngest daughter, so kudos to casting director Rachel Tenner. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Home Before Dark': TV Review," 2 Apr. 2020 The entire cast will astound you, but Adrian Dunbar as an anti-corruption chief deserves the most kudos, which brings us to our second choice. Michael Granberry, Dallas News, "If streaming is the new coping, you don’t have to fly to the U.K. You can catch the best on your TV," 31 Mar. 2020

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.

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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)

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Statistics for kudo

Cite this Entry

“Kudo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kudo. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kudo

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