adjective (1)
Olym·​pi·​an | \ ə-ˈlim-pē-ən How to pronounce Olympian (audio) , ō-\

Definition of Olympian

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : of or relating to Mount Olympus in Thessaly
2 : befitting or characteristic of an Olympian especially : lofty his … formula of glib simplicity and Olympian arrogance — Richard Pollak


adjective (2)

Definition of Olympian (Entry 2 of 4)

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


noun (1)

Definition of Olympian (Entry 3 of 4)

: a participant in Olympic Games


noun (2)

Definition of Olympian (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : one of the ancient Greek deities dwelling on Olympus
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.

First Known Use of Olympian

Adjective (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective (2)

1593, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

1606, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about Olympian

Statistics for Olympian

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for Olympian

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

See more words from the same century

Comments on Olympian

What made you want to look up Olympian? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a usually brief trip or an expedition

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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