wu·​shu | \ ˈwü-ˈshü How to pronounce wushu (audio) \

Definition of wushu

: Chinese martial arts

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

The name of the martial art wushu derives from the Beijing dialect of Chinese, where it was formed by combining the words for "martial" or "military" ("wǔ") and "art" ("shù"). This form of hand-to-hand combat (known more familiarly as "kung fu") was highly developed in China by the 3rd century B.C.E, and it is credited with influencing other martial arts that arose within Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Modern wushu, however, has separated itself from traditional kung fu to emphasize aesthetics and performance. One of the more well-known divisions of wushu is tai chi, the ancient discipline of meditative movements practiced as a system of exercises.

Examples of wushu in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

China claimed the first gold medal of the games in the morning session with Sun Peiyuan's acrobatic victory in wushu's changquan discipline. John Pye, Fox News, "Sun celebrates Asian Games win, upset over flag malfunction," 19 Aug. 2018 The two sports, which are extremely popular in Japan, are joined by bowling, roller sports, sport climbing, wushu, squash, karate and surfing (which will be considered as first-time Olympic sports) on the list. Cheryl Wray | Cwray@al.com, AL.com, "Team USA Olympic softball team coming to Tuscaloosa, Auburn this Summer," 12 May 2017

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

First Known Use of wushu

1971, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wushu

Chinese (Beijing) wǔshù, from martial, military + shù art

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wushu

Listen to Our Podcast about wushu

Dictionary Entries near wushu

Wurtz reaction







Statistics for wushu

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wushu

The first known use of wushu was in 1971

See more words from the same year

Comments on wushu

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!