\ˈspȯrt \
sported; sporting; sports

Definition of sport 

(Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to amuse oneself : frolic lambs sporting in the meadow

b : to engage in a sport

2a : to mock or ridicule something

b : to speak or act in jest : trifle

3 [ 2sport ] : to deviate or vary abruptly from type (as by bud variation) : mutate

transitive verb

1 : to display or wear usually ostentatiously : boast sporting expensive new shoes

2 [ 2sport ] : to put forth as a sport or bud variation



Definition of sport (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a source of diversion : recreation

b : sexual play

c(1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure

(2) : a particular activity (such as an athletic game) so engaged in

2a : pleasantry, jest

b : often mean-spirited jesting : mockery, derision

3a : something tossed or driven about in or as if in play

b : laughingstock

4a : sportsman

b : a person considered with respect to living up to the ideals of sportsmanship a good sport a poor sport

c : a companionable person

5 : an individual exhibiting a sudden deviation from type beyond the normal limits of individual variation usually as a result of mutation especially of somatic tissue


variants: or sports

Definition of sport (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, relating to, or suitable for sports especially : styled in a manner suitable for casual or informal wear sport coats

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Choose the Right Synonym for sport


fun, jest, sport, game, play mean action or speech that provides amusement or arouses laughter. fun usually implies laughter or gaiety but may imply merely a lack of serious or ulterior purpose. played cards just for fun jest implies lack of earnestness and may suggest a hoaxing or teasing. hurt by remarks said only in jest sport applies especially to the arousing of laughter against someone. teasing begun in sport led to anger game is close to sport, and often stresses mischievous or malicious fun. made game of their poor relations play stresses the opposition to earnest without implying any malice or mischief. pretended to strangle his brother in play

Examples of sport in a Sentence


She showed up at the party sporting a bright red hat. from sailing to snorkeling, each day we sported at a different activity offered by the beach resort


She likes to play sport. Ice-skating with friends is my favorite sport.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As part of their punishment, they were also banned from sporting events for three years. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "'Highly plausible' Pussy Riot member was poisoned, doctor says," 18 Sep. 2018 And many fans who have tuned into the weekend sporting event for years were fuming about Underwood’s new tune. Megan Friedman, Country Living, "Carrie Underwood Debuted a New ‘Sunday Night Football’ Song and NFL Fans Are Not Happy," 10 Sep. 2018 Tickets for the two-day event sold out in 34 seconds, faster than any sporting event or concert in the venue’s history. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Why competitive gaming is starting to look a lot like professional sports," 27 July 2018 While some women proudly sport a silver mane, many others face the arrival of new gray hairs with dread. Marci Robin, Good Housekeeping, "9 Things You Didn't Know About Gray Hair," 27 July 2018 Meyer was then suspended by the club after launching personal attacks against the manager, sporting director and chairman., "Max Meyer Could Move to Turkey After Being Rejected By Liverpool and Arsenal Due to Wage Demands," 13 July 2018 Looking happy to be taking a break from her rigorous Reputation Stadium Tour, Swift rocked a blue and white striped bikini while Alwyn, beer in hand, sported navy swim trunks. Rita Thompson, Billboard, "Taylor Swift Holds Hands With Boyfriend Joe Alwyn in Turks and Caicos: See the Sweet Pic," 10 July 2018 But between the team’s tradition of frugality and sporting director Earnie Stewart’s departure at the end of the month, Curtin signaled that the die is already cast. Jonathan Tannenwald,, "Union's Jim Curtin believes C.J. Sapong's goal drought is 'fixable,' but Cory Burke will get more playing time," 10 July 2018 Marisnick entered Wednesday's game striking out in 47.5 percent of his at-bats while sporting a .174 on-base percentage. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Jake Marisnick gets start for Astros as he looks for offensive spark," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That’s a view shared by John Hindaugh, a broadcaster and commentator with a long background in the sport. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "From efficiency to airflow, it’s a golden age for racing tech in our driveways," 23 Nov. 2018 For them, Black Friday is a tradition, a bonding experience, and a sport. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "Don’t get the allure of Black Friday? A mother-daughter shopping duo explains," 21 Nov. 2018 Luckily, Lil Xan was a good sport about the pic, managing to make some profit off it with a merch line. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline Noah Cyrus and Lil Xan’s Crazy Drama," 20 Sep. 2018 According to safe-for-work Google searches, water sports are aquatic activities such as jet-skiing. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "17 Sex Terms You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask About, Defined," 20 Sep. 2018 Modern tennis, despite the occasional rant at a line judge or Andre Agassi circa his long hair days aside, isn’t a sport known for an insurrection. Todd Martens,, "'Mario Tennis Aces' and the love of low-stakes competition," 12 July 2018 Soccer, as a sport, has no interest in being morally upright, or even fair. Alejandro Chacoff, The Atlantic, "Soccer Has No Interest in Fairness," 12 July 2018 The action here represents the mainstream cinema's version of extreme sports and these guys have staked their claim at the summit. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mission: Impossible — Fallout': Film Review," 12 July 2018 And so, what better way to celebrate this beloved sport and hobby than by catching up with a local expert and asking for some insight? Geoff Bruce, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Angling for answers to fishing questions with owner of Dick's Bait Shop in Delafield," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sport.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of sport


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1586, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sport


Middle English, to divert, disport, short for disporten

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Statistics for sport

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sport

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

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More Definitions for sport



English Language Learners Definition of sport

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to wear (something) in a way that attracts attention

: to play in a happy and lively way



English Language Learners Definition of sport (Entry 2 of 3)

: a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other

: sports in general

: a physical activity (such as hunting, fishing, running, swimming, etc.) that is done for enjoyment



English Language Learners Definition of sport (Entry 3 of 3)

: done for enjoyment rather than as a job or for food for survival

: participating in an activity (such as hunting or fishing) for enjoyment rather than as a job or for food for survival


\ˈspȯrt \

Kids Definition of sport

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : physical activity (as running or an athletic game) engaged in for pleasure or exercise Skating is my favorite sport.

2 : a person who shows good sportsmanship He's a sport and doesn't mind losing. Don't be a bad sport.

4 : fun entry 1 sense 3 He made sport of their embarrassment.


sported; sporting

Kids Definition of sport (Entry 2 of 2)

: to wear in a way that attracts attention He sported new sneakers.


\ˈspō(ə)rt, ˈspȯ(ə)rt \

Medical Definition of sport 

: an individual exhibiting a sudden deviation from type beyond the normal limits of individual variation usually as a result of mutation especially of somatic tissue

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More from Merriam-Webster on sport

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sport

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sport

Spanish Central: Translation of sport

Nglish: Translation of sport for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sport for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sport

Comments on sport

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


a typical or ideal example

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