Definition of kung fu in US English:

kung fu


  • A primarily unarmed Chinese martial art resembling karate.

    • ‘What style of kung fu is our hypothetical martial artist trained in?’
    • ‘Gavin stood up and did some kung fu, speaking out loud as he kicked the air.’
    • ‘At one level, the movie is about science fiction, kung fu, firearms and non-stop action.’
    • ‘Kalari is considered to be the source of all other Eastern martial art forms such as karate and kung fu.’
    • ‘She was also very interested in Asian art and culture and enjoyed kung fu and painting with a strong Asian influence.’
    • ‘Lee can play the bumpkin well, but it's only a matter of time before the small fact of his knowing kung fu comes into play.’
    • ‘Their place in the history of martial arts, as the originators of kung fu, has created a worldwide demand for their knowledge.’
    • ‘There is one thing that all Chinese martial arts have in common; the idea that kung fu itself is merely skill.’
    • ‘A simple example is that unlike Neo, you can't learn kung fu immediately.’
    • ‘Details are sketchy, but it might also involve a bunch of guys in suits doing a lot of shooting and maybe a kung fu master doing kung fu.’
    • ‘He suffers from depression which kung fu helps to overcome.’
    • ‘He has black belts in tae kwon do and kung fu, is a world champion fighter and holds titles in four countries.’
    • ‘The test pits one man against 108 wooden men that attempt to block your path with various moves from kung fu.’
    • ‘He becomes Bruce's mentor and his martial-art therapist, offering a mix of Freud and kung fu.’
    • ‘However, both the slapstick and kung fu are ultimately part of a story, and a good story at that.’
    • ‘For example, most styles of Chinese kung fu were created by mimicking fights of animals or birds.’
    • ‘I think all this reliance on alarms, electronics and kung fu is a bit ridiculous.’
    • ‘It's a spectacular end to the movie with its blend of lethal kung fu and extraordinary acrobatics.’
    • ‘She was an expert at Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Jujitsu, Jeet Kun Do, Go Shin Jitsu, and kung fu.’
    • ‘Mickey, whose real name is Michael Zezima, is a fitness and health freak with a passion for kung fu and chess.’


From Chinese gōngfu, from gōng ‘merit’ + fu ‘master’.


kung fu

/ˌkəNG ˈfo͞o//ˌkəŋ ˈfu/