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 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 Other stations focused on basketball and martial arts. Janice Steinhagen,, "Special Needs Kids Sample Sports Options At Resource Fair," 19 Apr. 2018 When: 6-9 p.m. Friday and 2-6 p.m. Saturday Where: Hardy & Nance Studios, 902 Hardy Details: Houston Japan Festival Event features traditional and contemporary performances of Japanese music, dance, martial arts and food. Houston Chronicle, "Family Fun: Art Car Parade and Houston Japan Festival," 11 Apr. 2018 The most popular items so far are personalized toyboxes, martial arts belt holders, dolls, backpacks, and bookshelves. Sheila Vilvens,, "Fairfield High School grads find success in e-commerce with personalized gifts for kids, pets," 20 Mar. 2018 New York’s hottest studios are offering streaming videos on the new Jetsweat app, which features everything from strength training to dance cardio to martial arts to yoga. Melinda Fulmer,, "5 breezy ways to get — or stay — in tip-top shape this summer," 23 June 2018 Equipped with a car full of gadgets, a background in martial arts and a love for her people, Cleopatra Jones worked for the United States government, which made her stand apart from her fellow Blaxploitation heroes. Richard Newby, New York Times, "Like the New ‘Superfly’? Stream These 13 Classic Blaxploitation Films," 18 June 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

18 Nov 2018

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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

See words that rhyme with martial art Encyclopedia article about martial art

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