or jiu·jit·su

[ joo-jit-soo ]
See 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.

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.

Origin of jujitsu

First recorded in 1870–75; from Japanese jūjitsu, earlier jūjutsu, equivalent to “soft” (see judo) + -jut(u) “technique,” from Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese shù
  • Also ju·jut·su, jiu·jut·su [joo-juht-soo, -joo-] /dʒuˈdʒʌt su, -ˈdʒʊ-/ .

Words Nearby jujitsu

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use jujitsu in a sentence

  • Nancy Snow, a professor of cross-cultural communications at California State University, Fullerton, calls it “shame jujitsu.”

    Mauled by Her Husband? | Asra Q. Nomani | July 16, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The boys are also taught asanas (postures), sword and lathi (stick) play, and jujitsu.

    Autobiography of a YOGI | Paramhansa Yogananda
  • 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
  • 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

/ (dʒuːˈdʒɪtsuː) /

  1. the traditional Japanese system of unarmed self-defence perfected by the samurai: See also judo

Origin of jujitsu

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