a form of wrestling in Japan in which a contestant wins by forcing his opponent out of the ring or by causing him to touch the ground with any part of his body other than the soles of his feet, contestants usually being men of great height and weight.

Origin of sumo

1895–1900; < Japanese sumō, earlier suma(f)u to wrestle
Related formssu·mo·ist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sumo

Contemporary Examples of sumo

  • The Sumo Association pledged to end yakuza ties the same year.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Yakuza Olympics

    Jake Adelstein

    February 7, 2014

  • The droll commercials include a current one for a Japanese bank in which Brad Pitt dines with a Sumo wrestler.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Spike Jonze’s Wild World

    Caryn James

    October 6, 2009

British Dictionary definitions for sumo



the national style of wrestling of Japan, the object of which is to force one's opponent to touch the ground with any part of his body except the soles of his feet or to step out of the ring

Word Origin for sumo

from Japanese sumō
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 sumo

1880, from Japanese sumo "to compete."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper