ath·lete | \ˈath-ˌlēt, nonstandard ˈa-thə-ˌlēt \

Definition of athlete 

1 : a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina

2 : an animal (such as a horse or a dog) that competes in races or other sporting events or has qualities (such a stamina and agility) suggestive of a human athlete Hospice working dogs were wiry, muscular, agile, yellowish-tan or brown athletes with unexaggerated heads …— Deborah Lawson

Examples of athlete in a Sentence

Athletes from around the world will be competing at the Olympics. She was quite an athlete as a child.

Recent Examples on the Web

Starting in October, student athletes will no longer have to receive permission to transfer from a coach. Drew Davison, star-telegram, "Gary Patterson rips into new NCAA rule. ‘That’s stupid.’," 13 July 2018 This was because the NCAA’s investigation allegedly injured the good names of innocent student-athletes. Michael Mccann,, "Should the NCAA Be Worried About the Lawsuit It's Facing From Former Louisville Players?," 12 July 2018 Then Jordan’s alleged connection to the Ohio State investigation into a former athletic doctor, Richard Strauss, who allegedly groped student-athletes across 14 sports, gave donors more reason to fill Garrett’s coffers. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Meet the Democrat trying to unseat scandal-plagued Rep. Jim Jordan in his heavily Republican district," 11 July 2018 The booster club raises money through initiatives such as the pancake breakfast to support student-athletes and coaches. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Family entertainment abounds in Bel Air on July 4," 4 July 2018 The family has started the Hilinski's Hope Foundation to raise awareness about mental health wellness for student-athletes. CBS News, "Tyler Hilinski, Washington State football player, had brain damage at time of suicide," 26 June 2018 Student-athletes representing U46 are: Jeremy Johnson, Streamwood High School, 50-meter run. Rafael Guerrero, Elgin Courier-News, "Seven U46 students to participate in Illinois Special Olympics Summer Games," 14 June 2018 In an email, Andrew Walker, the conference's vice president for public affairs, said the Pac-12 Networks has no policies specific to any student-athletes or teams. Ron Richmond For The Oregonian/oregonlive,, "Inside Luke Heimlich's senior season with the Oregon State baseball team," 8 June 2018 Noel was a near-pro track and field athlete and transitioned into acting after college. Abby Haglage,, "4 Black Girls With Big Dreams & The 4 Women Living Them," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'athlete.' 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 athlete

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for athlete

Middle English, from Latin athleta, from Greek athlētēs, from athlein to contend for a prize, from athlon prize, contest

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Statistics for athlete

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for athlete

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

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English Language Learners Definition of athlete

: a person who is trained in or good at sports, games, or exercises that require physical skill and strength


ath·lete | \ˈath-ˌlēt \

Kids Definition of athlete

: a person who is trained in or good at games and exercises that require physical skill, endurance, and strength

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