Olympian

1 of 4

adjective (1)

Olym·​pi·​an ə-ˈlim-pē-ən How to pronounce Olympian (audio)
ō-
1
: of or relating to, or inhabiting Mount Olympus in Thessaly
Olympian gods
2
: befitting, characteristic of, or suggestive of the gods conceived as inhabiting Mount Olympus : lofty
Olympian detachment
… his … formula of glib simplicity and Olympian arrogance …Richard Pollak
It was all said with an Olympian calm.James Clavell
In 1961 Mumford was 66 years old and an Olympian figure in American culture.The New York Times Book Review

Olympian

2 of 4

adjective (2)

1
: of or relating to the ancient Greek region of Olympia
2
: of, relating to, or constituting the Olympic Games

Olympian

3 of 4

noun (1)

plural Olympians
1
: a participant in Olympic Games
To be an alltime Olympian, you can't just be 23 and dominate over a four-year span. You have to age, battle time and remain on top.S. L. Price
2
: a native or inhabitant of Olympia

Olympian

4 of 4

noun (2)

plural Olympians
1
: one of the ancient Greek deities dwelling on Olympus
… has suggested to some that he was a new god, accepted late into the Greek pantheon of Olympians.M. C. Howatson
2
: a being of lofty detachment or superior attainments

Did you know?

The Greek gods lived high atop Mt. Olympus, which allowed them to watch what went on in the human realm below and intervene as they saw fit. They insisted on being properly worshipped by humans, but otherwise tended to treat the affairs of these weak and short-lived creatures almost like a sport. So Olympian describes someone who seems "lofty" and "above it all", as if surveying a scene in which other people appear the size of ants. The Olympic Games were first celebrated in the 8th century B.C., at the religious site called Olympia (far from Mt. Olympus), and Olympian today actually most often refers to Olympic athletes.

Examples of Olympian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Partners can also stay to look out for the little ones while their Olympian parents go for the gold. Beth Ann Mayer, Parents, 28 Mar. 2024 Last fall, a few yards away, a smaller, smellier pool without Olympian accreditation formed. Jaime Moore-Carrillo, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 26 Mar. 2024 The year 2023 may ultimately be recognized as when superhero films fell from the Olympian heights. Jacob Brogan, Washington Post, 7 Mar. 2024 But their actual work — whose legitimacy has been under attack — usually comes to us at an Olympian remove. James Poniewozik, New York Times, 8 Feb. 2024 Monarchs senior Issac Gonzalez scored his penalty kick before Olympian senior Falvio Mora Gil approached the circle. San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Feb. 2024 The Monarchs might have given Orange Lutheran a scare after a 3-3 tie in the first quarter, but then the Lancers started executing like an unbeaten team and opened an 8-3 halftime lead The Lancers’ coach, Brenda Villa, is a four-time Olympian and leading scorer in Olympic water polo history. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times, 17 Feb. 2024 Fans can expect to see Olympian and outdoor American record holder KC Lightfoot, who placed 4th at the Tokyo Olympics. Katelyn Hutchison, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 Barber, a world champion pole vaulter, Olympian and three-time NCAA champ during his time at Akron, died at his home Wednesday in Kingwood, Texas, from medical complications. Michael Beaven, USA TODAY, 19 Jan. 2024
Noun
On Sunday, the Olympian, 32, celebrated her first Easter since welcoming son Barrett 'Bear' Madison, 3 months. Jordan Greene, Peoplemag, 1 Apr. 2024 Alina Solis, Olympian, Sr. 130: Kylie Stanley, Granite Hills, Sr. 135: Kayla Edwards, Rancho Buena Vista, Sr. 140: Olivia Davis, Monte Vista, So. San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Mar. 2024 This series gives a raw glimpse into the epic failures and resilience of an Olympian, celebrity chef, YouTuber, doctor, and more. Tyler Shepherd, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2024 Clair DeGeorge, a player for Minnesota of the Professional Women's Hockey League; rugby Olympian Kathryn Johnson; five-time WNBA champion Rebekkah Brunson; and Diamond Miller, a forward on the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, have all stopped by to sign the bar’s Athlete Wall of Fame. Emilie Ikeda, NBC News, 27 Mar. 2024 Last year, a track and field stadium was renamed for Black Olympian Allyson Felix after the name of a former USC track coach, Dean Cromwell, was removed. Jaweed Kaleem, Los Angeles Times, 25 Mar. 2024 Corey Marr & Lisa Mills (USA), 2024 A close look inside the world of a Special Olympian, Becky Richter. Addie Morfoot, Variety, 21 Mar. 2024 The former Olympian outworked Thiago Santos en route to a unanimous decision victory. Brian Mazique, Forbes, 24 Feb. 2024 The two-time Olympian was originally detained at a Moscow airport after officials discovered vape cartridges and hash oil in her luggage. Mike Freeman, USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Olympian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (2)

1523, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Olympian was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near Olympian

Cite this Entry

“Olympian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Olympian. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

Olympian

1 of 4 adjective
Olym·​pi·​an ə-ˈlim-pē-ən How to pronounce Olympian (audio)
ō-
1
: of or relating to Olympus
2
: relating to or proper for one of the Greek gods of Olympus : lofty

Olympian

2 of 4 adjective
1
: of or relating to the ancient Greek region of Olympia
2

Olympian

3 of 4 noun
: an athlete who competes in the Olympic Games

Olympian

4 of 4 noun
: one of the Greek gods living on Olympus
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!