Definition of kayfabe in English:



informal US
  • (in professional wrestling) the fact or convention of presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic.

    • ‘a masterful job of blending kayfabe and reality’
    • ‘he's not someone who can break kayfabe and talk about the business’
    • ‘I heard that AJ approached him to rehearse a kayfabe segment’
    • ‘For more than a year, he paid the price for "breaking kayfabe."’
    • ‘True, wrestling has changed over the years, but maybe we'll see a revival of kayfabe.’
    • ‘He made everyone think he is the man, and he is still playing the kayfabe way, living the gimmick outside the ring.’
    • ‘If anything, the sports entertainment WWF of the 80s was the beginning of the end for kayfabe.’
    • ‘I don't miss the kayfabe era for the colorful outfits, but for the characters of the wrestlers who wore them.’
    • ‘It isn't their views I find offensive - I'm quite jaded - it is the fact that they think they're breaking some kayfabe, some taboo in expressing such unimaginative, thoughtless drivel.’
    • ‘This makes for a pretty awkward look at title history, glosses over the backstage politics that would have made for fascinating viewing and makes the women who are breaking kayfabe look bitter in the context of the documentary.’
    • ‘In the "kayfabe era," although he was definitely at his best being a heel, he was the one wrestler who made it cool to be bad.’
    • ‘Despite his irregular fight record and kayfabe politics, Takada is credited with the existence of PRIDE and the Japanese MMA boom.’



/ˈkāˌfāb/ /ˈkeɪˌfeɪb/


1980s origin uncertain; often said to have arisen in American traveling carnivals. One explanation interprets the word as an alteration of ‘be fake’ written backwards, while the -ay- element is typical of the way in which words are formed in pig Latin.