ku·​do | \ ˈkü-(ˌ)dō How to pronounce kudo (audio) , ˈkyü- \
plural kudos\ ˈkü-​(ˌ)dōz How to pronounce kudos (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 And kudos to the IceHouse for not downplaying the swastika, as some productions have started doing. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "‘Sound of Music’ gets the holiday nostalgia going | Review," 26 Nov. 2019 The series has been gaining buzz and critical kudos for its second season and is likely to be a favorite for next year's awards. Author: Stephen Battaglio, Anchorage Daily News, "HBO tops Emmys with 34 wins, fends off Netflix and a late surge by Amazon," 23 Sep. 2019 And kudos to the young women working with the legislature to strengthen state hazing laws. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: Congress should have to vote to send veterans into harm’s way (11/16/19)," 17 Nov. 2019 But kudos to Wesleyan to be willing to make [the effort]. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "Accessible Design is the Pinnacle of Good Design—And It’s for Everyone," 20 Oct. 2019 But kudos to Atkins for working around the loonies and standing up to the mighty governor. Los Angeles Times, "In defying Newsom, she tried to protect California from Trump — and showed how legislating should work," 16 Sep. 2019 The actress looks uncannily like Garland (kudos to the hair and makeup designers) while always remaining Renee Zellweger as well. Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Judy': Film Review | Telluride 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 Kampus kudos – Congrats to Joshua Holsopple who earned two special honors at Youngstown State University for the spring semester. cleveland.com, "Popular local produce stand returns to Bagley Road: Olmsted Dates and Data," 19 July 2019 Send your comments and questions, kudos and rants, to talkback@themmqb.com. Mark Mravic, SI.com, "NFL 100: The Arguments and Debates Behind The MMQB’s Project," 28 Aug. 2019

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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Learn More about kudo

Statistics for kudo

Last Updated

7 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kudo.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kudo. Accessed 21 January 2020.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for kudo

Comments on kudo

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


good-natured easy friendliness

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