[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 , .
a sport based on this method of self-defense.


1955, Japanese, literally “empty hand, bare hand,” from kara “empty” + te “hand.” A devotee is a karateka.


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  • Karate-chop

    [kuh-rah-tee-chop] /kəˈrɑ tiˌtʃɒp/ noun 1. a sharp blow used in karate, usually delivered by a slanting stroke with the side of the hand. verb (used with object), karate-chopped, karate-chopping. 2. to strike with a karate-chop.

  • Karateka

    [kuh-rah-tee-kah] /kəˈrɑ tiˌkɑ/ noun, plural karateka, karatekas. 1. an expert in karate. /kəˈrɑːtɪˌkæ/ noun 1. a competitor or expert in karate

  • Karate-sticks

    plural noun 1. . [nuhn-chah-koo] /nʌnˈtʃɑ ku/ noun 1. Sometimes, nunchakus. a Japanese hand weapon for defense against frontal assault, consisting of two foot-long hardwood sticks joined by a chain or thick cord that stretches to body width.

  • Karaya-gum

    [kuh-rahy-uh] /kəˈraɪ ə/ noun 1. the dried exudate of an Asian tree, Sterculia urens, used for finishing textiles and as a thickening agent in cosmetics and foodstuffs.

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