[ kuh-rah-tee ]
/ kəˈrɑ ti /


a method developed in Japan of defending oneself without the use of weapons by striking sensitive areas on an attacker's body with the hands, elbows, knees, or feet.Compare judo, jujitsu.
a sport based on this method of self-defense.

Origin of karate

1950–55; < Japanese, equivalent to kara empty + te (earlier *tai) hand(s)
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Examples from the Web for karate

British Dictionary definitions for karate

/ (kəˈrɑːtɪ) /


  1. a traditional Japanese system of unarmed combat, employing smashes, chops, kicks, etc, made with the hands, feet, elbows, or legs
  2. (as modifier)a karate chop to the head

Word Origin for karate

Japanese, literally: empty hand, from kara empty + te hand
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