Definition of sumo in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A Japanese form of heavyweight wrestling, in which a wrestler wins a bout by forcing his opponent outside a marked circle or by making him touch the ground with any part of his body except the soles of his feet.

    • ‘The young-at-heart are sure to enjoy the bouncy castle in Brindleyplace plus the face painting, inflatable sumo wrestling and balloon modelling.’
    • ‘During my university days we used to share athletic department facilities with people doing other martial arts like Shorinji kempo and judo and sumo.’
    • ‘Crouching at opposite sides of a clay-floored ring, muscles taut and bodies glistening with sweat, the two sumo wrestlers stare each other down.’
    • ‘The prime minister also told the emperor that sumo has become a craze in his country, and the Japanese sumo wrestlers are well known, the palace officials said.’
    • ‘They were quickly able to make sense of how to use aikido for handling rough shoving tactics like what is seen in wrestling, sumo and at the beginning of many street fights.’
    • ‘Japan's venerable old sport of sumo wrestling is a pretty macho endeavor.’
    • ‘In the past two years, he has made a careful study of the Japanese martial arts of judo and sumo and applied them as metaphors for the way companies do business.’
    • ‘At night, Yoroku would take him to the beach where Morihei would engage in sumo bouts with the sons of local fishermen in order to strengthen his body.’
    • ‘There is a mini-collection of sumo memorabilia because President Chirac is a great fan of sumo wrestling, which he watches on tapes sent from Japan.’
    • ‘The life of a sumo apprentice is demanding and even the most promising youngsters require 5 years or longer to reach the higher ranks and begin to receive a salary as a sekitori (professional).’
    • ‘Many of the old and traditional art forms like for instance Japanese sumo wrestling could remain their popularity until our days.’
    • ‘Musashimaru, the most successful foreign-born wrestler in sumo, decided to retire Saturday after suffering his fourth loss at the ongoing Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.’
    • ‘In 726 A.D., Emperor Seibu hosted a sumo tournament in July, which then became an important annual palace ritual along with archery contests in January and May.’
    • ‘Japanese people have always loved sumo, but now when you go to a basho there are empty seats in the stadium.’
    • ‘Live music, sumo wrestling and fire engines rides will be just some of the activities on offer at the fundraising event on Monday to support the Reuben and Friends Appeal.’
    • ‘It used to be that retiring Japanese sumo wrestling champions stayed in the sport after peaking in the ring.’
    • ‘Like just about everybody else, I'd had to practice things like sumo, judo, kendo, and jukenjutsu (bayonet fighting) during the war.’
    • ‘The basic rules of sumo are simple: The wrestler who either first touches the floor with something other than soles of his feet or who leaves the ring before his opponent loses.’
    • ‘Often beaten in such wrestling matches, he decided to train for a time under a sumo stablemaster named Tamagaki.’
    • ‘We worked really hard to come up with money by doing everything from sumo wrestling competitions to washing cars.’
    1. 1.1[count noun]A person who takes part in sumo wrestling.
      • ‘Traditionally, the sumos ate lots of food before bed and even in the middle of the night to gain flab, not muscle.’
      • ‘Opinion against women sumo on moral grounds grew, and by 1926 they were banned.’
      • ‘In the heavyweight world of Japanese politics, Yasuhiro Nakasone is a virtual sumo - intimidating and powerful.’
      • ‘There's a crazy neighbour that runs around dressed more as a sumo than a samurai.’
      • ‘It's odd to see Ellis and Glover lined up with two hands on the ground, legs spread and feet even, more like sumos than sprinters.’


Late 19th century: from Japanese sūmo.