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

The 5-foot-7 athlete looks to make one final splash as a senior this fall. Mark Iandolo,, "Where are they now? Gonter, Magnin, Rennick and Rogers," 13 July 2018 If convicted of the charges, the athlete faces a possible maximum life sentence in prison. Stephanie Petit,, "Super Bowl Champ Brandon Browner Charged with Attempting to Murder Ex While Her Kids Were Home," 12 July 2018 Playing alongside the Special Olympic athletes is unified partner Colin Iverson. Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, "Naperville athletes to share international stage at Special Olympics soccer competition," 12 July 2018 There’s one for the college athlete from South America who overcooked a steep corner into oncoming traffic. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, "The Troubling Rise of the Ghost Bike," 9 July 2018 The young East Boynton athletes took the district title in the coach-pitch division with an 8-3 victory against West Boynton Beach at Miller Park in Delray Beach . Alex Kushel,, "East Boynton All-Stars shine in 8-under coach-pitch play," 8 July 2018 And what better lesson could there be from the greatest athlete of all time than that? Alessandra Codinha, Vogue, "At a Wimbledon Press Conference, Serena Williams Gives A Master Class In Unapologetic Excellence," 7 July 2018 Notre Dame’s rising senior guard on Thursday was awarded the Mary Garber Award, which recognized Ogunbowale as the ACC’s top female athlete in the entire league. Laken Litman, Indianapolis Star, "Notre Dame's Arike Ogunbowale named ACC Female Athlete of the Year," 5 July 2018 Your information will be used as described in our Privacy Notice The professional athletes of Houston have way more disposable income than most of us. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Favorite vacation spots for Houston's pro athletes," 2 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

19 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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Comments on athlete

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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