martial art

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Collocation of martial + art, coined in 1933 as a loan translation of Japanese bujutsu. But already in Pope's Iliad (1715, 4.360), and in Sotheby's Iliad (1831, book 6).

Noun[edit]

martial art (plural martial arts)

  1. Commonly, any of several fighting styles which contain systematized methods of training for combat, both armed and unarmed; often practiced as a sport, e.g. boxing, karate, judo, silat, wrestling, or Muay Thai.
  2. military skills, proficiency in military strategy, prowess in warfare
    1832 ...of all the modes by which the advantage of his country may be secured, the martial arts and valour are those by which a Swiss the most hopes to promote it. (Richard Chenevix, An Essay Upon National Character: 4. On patriotism, p. 481).

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