martial art


Definition of martial art

: any of several arts of combat and self-defense (such as karate and judo) that are widely practiced as sport

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Other Words from martial art

martial artist noun

Examples of martial art in a Sentence

He was trained in the martial arts.

Recent Examples on the Web

The Gracie family essentially revolutionized the martial art and combat sport, earning particular acclaim in mixed martial arts competitions and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "How did Seahawks pass-rusher Jacob Martin prepare for his rookie season? Jiu-jitsu.," 28 Nov. 2018 Their interests coalesce around things like video games, cryptocurrency, men’s rights, and martial arts. Alvin Chang, Vox, "We analyzed every QAnon post on Reddit. Here’s who QAnon supporters actually are.," 8 Aug. 2018 Cassidy also offers after-school enrichment classes such as cooking, martial arts, circus arts (on their own aerial silks), and more. Nadine Jolie Courtney, Town & Country, "These Preschools Are the Ivy League of Early Education," 11 Oct. 2016 Roosa has been involved with Jeet Kune Do, the martial art that Bruce Lee made famous. John Henry, star-telegram, "Mother joins children as competitors in Golden Gloves | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 22 Feb. 2018 Of course superhero territory comes with its occupational hazards: weightlifting, martial arts training, grueling days on set. Vanessa Chow, Glamour, "Amber Heard Is Nobody’s Victim," 27 Nov. 2018 The South Koreans were more successful in their traditional form of martial arts, securing two of the first taekwondo poomsae medals ever awarded at the Asian Games. John Pye, Fox News, "Sun celebrates Asian Games win, upset over flag malfunction," 19 Aug. 2018 Could this drummer, a Guggenheim fellow who helped define percussion's role in free jazz, really also be an expert in martial arts, acupuncture and cardiac health? John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Milford Graves: Full Mantis': Film Review," 11 July 2018 Qi’ra is a master of Teras Kasi In one fight scene, Qi’ra reveals herself to be a master of a fictional martial art called Teras Kasi. Scott Meslow, GQ, "Solo: A Star Wars Story: Everything You Might Have Missed," 26 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'martial art.' 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 martial art

1920, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for martial art

The first known use of martial art was in 1920

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More Definitions for martial art

martial art


English Language Learners Definition of martial art

: any one of several forms of fighting and self-defense (such as karate and judo) that are widely practiced as sports

martial art


Kids Definition of martial art

: any of several forms of combat and self-defense (as karate or judo) that are widely practiced as sports

More from Merriam-Webster on martial art

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with martial art Encyclopedia article about martial art

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