• synonyms


or jiu·jit·su

See more synonyms for jujitsu on Thesaurus.com
  1. a method developed in Japan of defending oneself without the use of weapons by using the strength and weight of an adversary to disable him.
  2. the use of an opponent's strengths or one's own weaknesses to accomplish one's goals: That was a kind of intellectual jujitsu, the way she handily won the debate. The town of Vacaville, in a prime example of touristic jujitsu, turned its isolation into an attraction in itself.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to turn (a situation) to one's advantage by exploiting one's own weaknesses or another's strengths, as in a social or political relationship: He deftly jujitsued the conversation to make my knowledge of the subject seem pretentious.
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Also ju·jut·su, jiu·jut·su [joo-juht-soo, -joo-] /dʒuˈdʒʌt su, -ˈdʒʊ-/.
Compare judo, karate.

Origin of jujitsu

1870–75; < Japanese jūjitsu, earlier jūjutsu, equivalent to soft (see judo) + -jut(u) technique < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese shù
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

karate, wrestling, judo, aikido, jujitsu, kendo

Examples from the Web for jujitsu

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • He grabbed the extended right arm to give it a jujitsu move up and to the back of the body.

    David Lannarck, Midget

    George S. Harney

  • The boys are also taught asanas (postures), sword and lathi (stick) play, and jujitsu.

    Autobiography of a YOGI

    Paramhansa Yogananda

  • He reached forward in a jujitsu maneuver, grabbed a coat sleeve and a handful of suit coat.

    Black Man's Burden

    Dallas McCord Reynolds

British Dictionary definitions for jujitsu


jujutsu or jiujutsu

  1. the traditional Japanese system of unarmed self-defence perfected by the samuraiSee also judo
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Word Origin

C19: from Japanese, from gentleness + jutsu art
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

Word Origin and History for jujitsu


also ju-jitsu, 1875, from Japanese jujutsu, from ju "softness, gentleness" (from Chinese jou "soft, gentle") + jutsu "art, science," from Chinese shu, shut.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper