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 (sĕp′o͞o-ko͞o, sĕ-po͞o′-)
Ritual suicide by disembowelment formerly practiced by Japanese samurai. Also called hara-kiri.

[Japanese : setsu, to cut (from Middle Chinese tshiat; also the source of Mandarin qiè) + fuku, stomach, abdomen (from Middle Chinese fuwk; also the source of Mandarin ).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Anthropology & Ethnology) another word for hara-kiri
[from Japanese, from Chinese ch'ieh to cut + fu bowels]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈhɑr əˈkɪər i, ˈhær ə-, ˈhær i-)

also hari-kari

1. ceremonial suicide by ripping open the abdomen with a dagger or knife: formerly practiced in Japan by members of the warrior class when disgraced or sentenced to death.
2. any suicidal action; a self-destructive act: political hara-kiri.
[1855–60; < Japanese, =hara belly + kiri cut]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.seppuku - ritual suicide by self-disembowelment on a sword; practiced by samurai in the traditional Japanese society
self-annihilation, self-destruction - the act of killing yourself; "it is a crime to commit suicide"
Nihon, Nippon, Japan - a constitutional monarchy occupying the Japanese Archipelago; a world leader in electronics and automobile manufacture and ship building
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Samurai who were engaged by a particular 'client', usually a 'daimyo' or feudal lord of a particular place, were called 'retainers' which should sound very familiar to lawyers and, just like lawyers, the bond of loyalty between them and their 'client' was very strong although, as far as the samurai were concerned, such fealty and loyalty was carried to the extreme as they were expected to be ready to die at the orders of their daimyo to the extent of committing 'seppuku' or ritual suicide which is something no lawyer would do, no matter how much he is paid.
Whether it is Art Spiegelman toiling away atop a mountain of corpses, Maya Angelou being turned away by the dentist, Yukio Mishima's seppuku or Gandhi's experiments; it is always the lived, embodied detail that traces the path to the revealing.
"A few extra thousand kilometres" is also very relative: If you overshoot your service interval by 20,000km, then you only have yourself to blame when your engine digests itself or tries to commit gunk-based seppuku.
As Western countries began to learn more about Japan, portrayals of another class of Japanese warriors, the Samurai, brought about the proliferation of words like seppuku and hara-kiri, the ritualized suicide made famous by the Samurai, and by movies and anime which told their tales.
Beneath Jonathan's exploration of suicide -- from samurai who practiced seppuku to the Aokigahara forest, a destination for numerous hangings -- there's a less sensational portrait of a man struggling to part with both the past and his ideas of the future.
Several weeks ago, the United States Marine Corps copied its old Japanese adversary and committed seppuku. It did so by relieving its best battalion commander and most promising future senior combat leader of his command, thus terminating his career.
suicide by stabbing is rare, but the Japanese Samurai used to have a ritual, seppuku or hari-kiri (cutting the belly) - to die with honour rather than at the hands of the enemy.
Outside of Japan, media depictions of suicide in the country frequently involve concepts of honour and disgrace, from 12th century samurai who committed seppuku - a ritualised form of self-disembowelment - to World War II kamikaze pilots who deliberately crashed into Allied ships.
Ritual suicide, known as seppuku or hara-kiri, has long been portrayed in movies and theater as an honorable way to take responsibility.
The possible reasons for this could also relate to that the military suicide considered to be honored in the Japanese soldiers such as Seppuku (cutting the abdomen) and Banzai Charge during the World War II.
Whatever the reason, he fell afoul of Hideyoshi, who ordered him to commit Seppuku (ritual suicide by disembowelment) in 1591.