[ hahr-uh-keer-ee, har-uh-, har-ee- ]
/ ˈhɑr əˈkɪər i, ˈhær ə-, ˈhær i- /


Also called seppuku. ceremonial suicide by ripping open the abdomen with a dagger or knife: formerly practiced in Japan by members of the warrior class when disgraced or sentenced to death.
suicide or any suicidal action; a self-destructive act: political hara-kiri.
Also hari-kari.

Origin of hara-kiri

1855–60; < Japanese, equivalent to hara belly (earlier fara < *para) + kiri cut
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for hara-kiri

British Dictionary definitions for hara-kiri


hari-kari (ˌhærɪˈkɑːrɪ)

/ (ˌhærəˈkɪrɪ) /


(formerly, in Japan) ritual suicide by disembowelment with a sword when disgraced or under sentence of deathAlso called: seppuku

Word Origin for hara-kiri

C19: from Japanese taboo slang, from hara belly + kiri cutting
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

Cultural definitions for hara-kiri

[ (har-i-keer-ee, hahr-uh-keer-ee) ]

A ritual of suicide, associated with warriors in traditional Japanese society.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.