from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Suicide by disembowelment, formerly practised in Japan by daimios and members of the military class when unwilling to survive some personal or family disgrace, or in order to avoid the headsman's sword after having received sentence of death.
  • noun Hence, suicide; self-destruction.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A ritual form of suicide, by slashing the abdomen, formerly practiced in Japan, and commanded by the government in the cases of disgraced officials; disembowelment; -- also written, but incorrectly, hari-kari.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Alternative spelling of hara-kiri.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun ritual suicide by self-disembowelment on a sword; practiced by samurai in the traditional Japanese society
  • noun ritual suicide by self-disembowelment on a sword; practiced by samurai in the traditional Japanese society


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • They had a feast and the authority for this is the cook -- I forget his name; it's probably here in a footnote -- and they dressed in their ceremonial robes and they had the word "harakiri" -- it means "stomach cutting" -- and they had the ceremonial knife ...

    Okinawa: The Last Battle of World War II 1995

  • [12] I have here used the expression "harakiri," because so commonly understood among English -- speaking readers.

    From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life 1877

  • I was a staunch supporter of Obama but now I have to wonder how someone who proclaims that Israel's security is sacrosanct tries to force Israel to commit "harakiri".

    Yahoo! News: Business - Opinion 2010

  • The most famous form of seppuku is also known as "harakiri" … in Japanese, the more formal seppuku is typically used in writing, while harakiri is used in speech.

    Arrowhead Pride 2010

  • But if Mr. Obama won't go along, there's no reason Republicans should help him dodge the political consequences by committing debt-limit harakiri.

    Debt-Limit Harakiri 2011

  • So, let's start planning for Panel III in 5-6 years to fix the national space-harakiri we're witnessing. me

    Augustine Round 1 - NASA Watch 2009

  • As it has been said, the Baboon is certainly someone to talk about honor and harakiri; he should have followed his own advice long ago.

    Think Progress » Glenn Beck: ‘There aren’t enough knives’ for ‘dishonored’ climate scientists to kill themselves. 2010

  • Somewhat reminiscent of Vernor Vinge's novella "The Cookie Monster", this particularly steamy slice of corporate Gormenghast for the economy-plagued America provides plenty of emotional harakiri and gut-spilling visual thrills ... it crawls around the astonished reader like a misshapen beetle (complete with the grotesque patterns on its carapace and clockwork-sounding clicks).

    The Surreal Office 2009

  • She was acting friendly enough now, chattering away like they were in college, but there she was, on the verge of harakiri with an American.

    For the Sake of the Boy Ramola D 2011

  • If I was a samurai in feudal Japan, I would have to harakiri myself out of dishonor and shame.

    Wajahat Ali: Fighting Wells Fargo and Foreclosure 2010


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