nun·​cha·​ku | \ ˈnən-ˌchək How to pronounce nunchaku (audio) , ˌnən-ˈchä-kü How to pronounce nunchaku (audio) \
plural nunchaku or nunchakus

Definition of nunchaku

: a weapon of Japanese origin that consists of two sticks joined at their ends by a short length of rawhide, cord, or chain usually plural

Note: The sticks of nunchakus are traditionally hardwood, but modern versions are made of various materials including metal and plastic.

Essentially two 12-inch sticks bound together by a short, double nylon cord, the nunchaku (pronounced nun-cha-koo) obtained prominence in America in the '70s, when kung fu fighter Bruce Lee wielded it with furious grace in his cult-classic movies.— William Plummer and Robin Micheli

called also nunchuck

Examples of nunchaku in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In one episode, Tray’s son, Shazad (Dante Hoagland), gets in trouble for bringing nunchaku to school. Michael Ordona,, 30 May 2018 The suspect's 42-year-old son was arrested for disorderly conduct while intoxicate and obstructing official business; the latter arose from his hiding a pair of nunchaku, a martial arts weapon, he had been seen holding, police said. Bruce Geiselman,, 14 Oct. 2017

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

First Known Use of nunchaku

1961, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for nunchaku

Japanese dialect (Okinawa)

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The first known use of nunchaku was in 1961

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Dictionary Entries Near nunchaku

Nunc Dimittis



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Cite this Entry

“Nunchaku.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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