su·​mo | \ ˈsü-(ˌ)mō How to pronounce sumo (audio) \

Definition of sumo

: a Japanese form of wrestling in which a contestant loses if he is forced out of the ring or if any part of his body except the soles of his feet touches the ground

Examples of sumo in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even toddlers learn the sport in Korea, pressing their backsides against each other and then using their legs to force the other toddler out of the ring — like sumo, only behind-to-behind rather than belly-to-belly. John Leland, New York Times, "Mr. Kim’s Lonely Fight to Preserve a Korean Tradition," 30 Aug. 2019 In contrast to Japanese sumo, competitors do not score points by muscling an opponent out of the ring. John Leland, New York Times, "Mr. Kim’s Lonely Fight to Preserve a Korean Tradition," 30 Aug. 2019 The main rule of sumo seems to be: Push your competitor out of the ring. James Whitlow Delano, National Geographic, "Here’s your ultimate Tokyo itinerary," 25 Apr. 2019 Beginner modification: Remove the jump and just do the sumo squats for 30 to 45 seconds. 4. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "A Total-Body HIIT Workout You Can Do in Under 15 Minutes From Celebrity Trainer Jeanette Jenkins," 14 Mar. 2019 Reposition your legs so that your feet land in sumo (wide) squat position. Yolanda Edwards, Condé Nast Traveler, "Super Trainer Kayla Itsines on Staying in Shape at 35,000 Feet," 23 July 2018 Perform a total 2-4 sets of step sumo squats and bench dips, resting 30-60 seconds between sets. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Stepping up your training can boost your heart, lower-body muscles," 11 July 2018 Day 2: Tokyo Waking up early, you will be driven by private vehicle and escorted to a Sumo Stable or beya by an expert journalist, to learn about sumo while watching up close how these mammoth wrestlers practice. Scott Gilman, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Japan," 5 Oct. 2016 In male-only sumo, women are considered ritually unclean and are banned from the dohyo, which is considered sacred. Washington Post, "Japan mayor saved by nurse says female sumo ban irrelevant," 29 June 2018

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

1880, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sumo

Japanese sumō

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Cite this Entry

“Sumo.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce sumo (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sumo

: a Japanese form of wrestling that is performed by very large men

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Spanish Central: Translation of sumo

Nglish: Translation of sumo for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about sumo

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