kung fu

\ ˌkəŋ-ˈfü How to pronounce kung fu (audio) , ˌku̇ŋ- How to pronounce kung fu (audio) \

Definition of kung fu

: any of various Chinese martial arts and related disciplines that are practiced especially for self-defense, exercise, and spiritual growth

Examples of kung fu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Once a week, a communal performance might showcase Afghan or Sudanese dance, a djembe concert, an Ethiopian circus, Iranian kung fu, or stand-up comedy. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "In The Jungle, the Refugee Crisis Takes Center Stage," 13 Nov. 2018 Many names are inspired by kung fu novels, which Alibaba’s Mr. Ma likes, and reinforce a general absence of hierarchy. Stella Yifan Xie, WSJ, "Jack Ma’s Giant Financial Startup Is Shaking the Chinese Banking System," 29 July 2018 Irving surprises with a wicked sense of humor and zen soulfulness as aging playground legend Uncle Drew, and Shaquille O'Neal is hilarious as his frenemy, kung fu master Big Fella. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Your ultimate Fourth of July movie guide: A suggestion for every holiday scenario," 29 June 2018 Irish dance and Greek line dance were also demonstrated, as was kung fu. Jennifer Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Families 'experience the whole world' during Field School Cultural Fair in Park Ridge," 4 May 2018 The slate included everything from kung fu and taekwando demonstrations to K-pop and hip hop dance, and the performers’ ages ranged from preschool dancers to Malden Senior Center singers. Emily Williams, BostonGlobe.com, "Crowd swarms lion dance at Chinatown festival," 7 July 2018 Bay Area Discovery Museum Chinese New Year Celebration Lion dancers, a kung fu demonstration, a chance to watch master calligraphers at work, lantern making and more. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon., Feb. 19. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Events listings," 14 Feb. 2018 Those activities include dragon and lion dances, kung fu and tai chi demonstrations, music, fortune telling and more. Sandy Guerra-cline, star-telegram, "The week’s top 10 list is hoping the weather cooperates with fun," 14 Feb. 2018 The gyms include classes like seniors zumba, chair volleyball and cane fu (kung fu with canes). Sumathi Reddy, WSJ, "The Goal: Longer Life With Less Loneliness," 28 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of kung fu

1870, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kung fu

Chinese (Beijing) gōngfu skill, art

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kung fu

Dictionary Entries near kung fu

Kundt tube



kung fu

kung pao

kungu cake

kungu fly

Statistics for kung fu

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for kung fu

The first known use of kung fu was in 1870

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for kung fu

kung fu


English Language Learners Definition of kung fu

: a form of fighting without weapons that was developed in China : a Chinese martial art

kung fu

\ ˌkəŋ-ˈfü How to pronounce kung fu (audio) , ˌku̇ŋ-\

Kids Definition of kung fu

: an art of self-defense without weapons that was developed in China

More from Merriam-Webster on kung fu

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with kung fu

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about kung fu

Comments on kung fu

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


a secret plot to overthrow a government

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

April 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a bird amidst buds
  • Which is a synonym of propitious?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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