Pop Culture dictionary


or Shoryuken [shoh-ryoo-ken]

or [shawr-yoo-ken]

What does shoryuken mean?

The shoryuken is a special fighting move from the video game series Street Fighter.

Where does shoryuken come from?


The move that would become known as the shoryuken first appeared in Capcom’s 1987 arcade game Street Fighter. An uppercut punch literally meaning “rising dragon fist” in Japanese, shoryuken could only be used with a secret series of inputs and buttons on the arcade game stick that was not made known to players.

Street Fighter II was released in 1991. The manual for the home version listed the move as the dragon punch, but described the character and karate-styled Ryu as using “the ancient word ‘SHO-RYU-KEN’” to perform the attack. In the game, Ryu shouts shoryuken when he uses the move. By 1992, gamers were referring to the move as the shoryuken online, using shoryuken as both a noun and a verb. Other fighters in the game, like Ken, became known for the shoryuken move.

The manual for 1995’s Street Fighter Alpha continued to use the dragon punch name, but, by 1999, Street Fighter III: Double Impact’s manual listed the move as the shoryuken. In 2000, a fighting-game forum was opened at shoryuken.com. The website, called Shoryuken, or SRK for short, eventually expanded to include fighting-game news.

Examples of shoryuken

If you got read receipts and u don't reply ima Shroyuken you ↗️↖️↘️↙️↗️💢💢💥 thru the phone real shit
@TheEngineers_, November, 2013
Shoryuken gained a reputation for being a place you learned, so many people felt welcome
James Chen quoted by Ian Walker, Kotaku, January, 2018
People think I ‘know how to play’ fighting games...but the truth is I just learned the hadouken and shoryuken moves in Street Fighter 2 on the arcade machine at the laundromat my parents went to in the 90s.
@jordansmcbride, February, 2018

Who uses shoryuken?

Gamers have used shoryuken online to describe similar moves in other, non Street Fighter games since the 1990s and continue to do so. Similarly, the particular input used to perform the shoryuken may be called the shoryuken motion or shoryuken input.

Additionally, some may reference the shoryuken when talking about punches in real life.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of shoryuken like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of shoryuken that will help our users expand their word mastery.