Definition of karate in English:



mass noun
  • An oriental system of unarmed combat using the hands and feet to deliver and block blows, widely practised as a sport.

    • ‘She whomps the male agents in the gym in karate and judo workouts and packs a mean punch.’
    • ‘Karate kicks, karate chops, these impress referees, but they were just added when it became a sport.’
    • ‘She clenched her fists in front of her chest but I was the one with a black belt in karate.’
    • ‘Even if you are in a contact sport like rugby, boxing or karate, you should know when your body needs a rest.’
    • ‘It gives me a chance to bring back all the fond memories I have of my karate training days.’
    • ‘Her black belt from karate was the only thing that would give her ability to fight away.’
    • ‘First we did judo and karate, then Zacarias played handball and I played basketball.’
    • ‘Abdel practises karate at the Nahadha Sports Club near Baghdad's city centre.’
    • ‘I have a blackbelt in karate, but that doesn't prepare you for all that wire work.’
    • ‘He also runs regularly and has taken up two different martial arts - karate and wing chun, a form of tai chi.’
    • ‘The women who take karate will be testing for their black belts within the next six months.’
    • ‘He was already highly skilled in the martial arts, having obtained a black belt in karate.’
    • ‘I teach karate at one of my three martial arts clubs, in Gourock, Greenock and Erskine.’
    • ‘Most of us in karate or other martial arts were taught to form a basic closed fist.’
    • ‘Chris gained his black belt in both karate and judo almost 25 years ago.’
    • ‘Samantha has trained in karate and helps to teach other youngsters the martial art.’
    • ‘The karate practitioners spar with each other while kick boxers flex and twist their limbs.’
    • ‘It is a fact that karate, judo, kendo, and iaido are much easier to learn than aikido.’
    • ‘He spent nearly a year studying kendo, karate and other Japanese martial arts.’
    • ‘Then she hired a fourth degree black belt in karate and did martial arts training.’

It was formalized in Okinawa in the 17th century, and popularized via Japan after about 1920. Karate is performed barefoot in loose padded clothing, with a coloured belt indicating the level of skill, and involves mental as well as physical training


Japanese, from kara ‘empty’ + te ‘hand’.