[ kar-ee-oh-kee ]
/ ˌkær iˈoʊ ki /


an act of singing along to a music video, especially one from which the original vocals have been electronically eliminated.

Origin of karaoke

1985–1990; < Japanese, equivalent to kara empty + oke orchestra
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for karaoke

British Dictionary definitions for karaoke


/ (ˌkɑːrəˈəʊkɪ) /


  1. an entertainment of Japanese origin in which people take it in turns to sing well-known songs over a prerecorded backing tape
  2. (as modifier)a karaoke bar

Word Origin for karaoke

from Japanese, from kara empty + ōkesutora orchestra
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 karaoke



1979, Japanese, from kara "empty" + oke "orchestra," shortened form of okesutora, which is a Japanization of English orchestra.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper