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  1. an exercise consisting of several of the specific movements of a martial art, especially a pattern prescribed for defending oneself against several attackers, used in judo and karate training.

Origin of kata

1950–55; < Japanese: shape, pattern


  1. variant of cata-.
Also especially before a vowel, kat-.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for kata

Historical Examples

  • If a verbal message is sent to a friend, a kata is sent with it.

    An Explorer's Adventures in Tibet

    A. Henry Savage Landor

  • It is also called the catamenia or catamenia-flow (Greek, kata—by, men—a month).


    William J. Robinson

  • "I'll call the whole house to prove it," said Mrs. Kata, with a face as red as scarlet.

  • So called from Kali, the Hindu goddess, and kata, laughter; because human victims were formerly here sacrificed to her.

  • Kata fell to with an appetite and Tommy saw that his plate was replenished as soon as it was emptied.

    Boy Scouts on the Great Divide

    Archibald Lee Fletcher

British Dictionary definitions for kata


  1. an exercise consisting of a sequence of the specific movements of a martial art, used in training and designed to show skill in technique

Word Origin

C20: Japanese, literally: shape, pattern


  1. a variant of cata-
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012