Definition of hara-kiri in English:


Syllabification: ha·ra-ki·ri
Pronunciation: /ˌhärə ˈki(ə)rē, ˌharə-, ˌharē ˈkarē


Ritual suicide by disembowelment with a sword, formerly practiced in Japan by samurai as an honorable alternative to disgrace or execution.
More example sentences
  • Alejandro Ferretis plays a middle-aged painter who has retired to a secluded and primitive village to commit suicide (this hara-kiri is perhaps a key to the enigmatic title).
  • This man, a superior samurai named Yogo Zenemon, has been ordered by the lord, for his own reasons, to commit hara-kiri, or ritualistic suicide by disembowelment.
  • The day after the surrender, he committed hara-kiri or suicide.


mid 19th century: colloquial Japanese, from hara 'belly' + kiri 'cutting'.

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