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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Spectators could view a martial arts team demonstration by the ONG Taekwondo Academy USA of Harwood Heights. Karie Angell Luc,, "Norridge festival raises funds for school security projects," 10 June 2019 Natasha is an actress with a martial arts background. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Here's Everything You Need To Know About The Cast Of "The Society" And Their Characters," 10 May 2019 The Oscar-winning actress not only condensed three years of martial arts training into a six-month window ahead of shooting, but sustained injuries—and fought through them—in the process. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Halle Berry Proves That Jaw-Dropping Legs Have No Age Limit," 8 May 2019 Joe’s popularity peaked in 1986, but then met unexpected competition in the form of four anthropomorphic turtles with a taste for martial arts. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "Yo, Joe: How a 12-Inch Soldier Doll Became a Toy Legend," 9 Apr. 2019 One location in particular is painted in loving, lush detail — a spacious martial arts sanctuary in the middle of a sprawling garden. Danelle Landis, The Seattle Times, "Ketchikan author discusses new fantasy novel," 30 Mar. 2019 His current position puts him at the top of an operation that includes art fairs, model agencies, UFC—the martial arts federation—and the Miss Universe organization. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "Who Is Lauren Sanchez's Husband, Patrick Whitesell?," 8 Feb. 2019 Queen Rania of Jordan joined her husband, King Abdullah, earlier today in Amman to meet with the national martial arts sports team. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Queen Rania of Jordan Mixes Local and Global Designers Like a Royal Pro," 12 Sep. 2018 The 22-year-old Van Varenberg is the youngest son of Van Damme, known for his martial arts action films of the 1980s and 1990s. Fox News, "Jean-Claude Van Damme's son pleads guilty in Arizona knife incident," 16 Aug. 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.

See More

First Known Use of martial art

1920, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about martial art

Statistics for martial art

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for martial art

The first known use of martial art was in 1920

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on martial art

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!