ath·​let·​ic | \ ath-ˈle-tik How to pronounce athletic (audio) , nonstandard ˌa-thə-ˈle- How to pronounce athletic (audio) \

Definition of athletic

1 : of or relating to athletes or athletics an athletic scholarship athletic teams athletic events
2a : characteristic of an athlete athletic talent a strong, athletic build
b : vigorous, active an athletic lifestyle
c : active or gifted in sports, games, or exercises He's not very athletic.
3 : used by athletes athletic shoes/equipment the school's athletic fields

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Other Words from athletic

athletically \ ath-​ˈle-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce athletic (audio) \ adverb

Examples of athletic in a Sentence

They each received an athletic scholarship to the school. Students can get discount tickets for all athletic events. His athletic career spanned three decades. She has great athletic ability. She's tall and has an athletic build.
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Recent Examples on the Web Michigan won’t admit that publicly, and athletic director Warde Manuel even disputed that notion in a statement. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Jim Harbaugh new deal removes facade that has been crumbling for years," 9 Jan. 2021 The school will pay him $4 million in 2021 with a chance to make nearly $8 million in the fifth year of his contract, according to the memorandum of understanding signed by Harbaugh and athletic director Warde Manuel on Friday. Larry Lage, ajc, "'Work to be done": Harbaugh has new, 5-year deal at Michigan," 8 Jan. 2021 Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith responded to that report via text to Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football plans to play national championship Monday despite potential COVID-19 issues," 5 Jan. 2021 How did Bohn feel Saturday morning when Texas, weeks after athletic director Chris Del Conte announced Tom Herman would be back, fired Herman with plans to hire Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian to replace him? Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Mike Bohn playing the long game when it comes to Clay Helton and USC football," 4 Jan. 2021 Last month, Purdue athletic director MIke Bobinski said the school has had conversations with the NCAA about hosting tournament games. Indystar, USA TODAY, "It's official: 2021 NCAA tournament to be played in Indiana," 4 Jan. 2021 In what’s hardly a ringing endorsement, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte says Herman will return for a fifth season as the Longhorns’ football coach. Nick Moyle,, "Texas dumps Tom Herman, hires Steve Sarkisian," 2 Jan. 2021 On Saturday morning, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte announced that the university would be parting ways with head coach Tom Herman after his fourth season with the Longhorns. Dallas News, "‘The business isn’t pretty’: Caden Sterns, former and current Texas players react to Tom Herman’s firing," 2 Jan. 2021 Also, the Ducks play Fresno State and Stony Brook in what now looks like smart scheduling by athletic director Rob Mullens. oregonlive, "Canzano: Looking for a statement about 2021 from Oregon Ducks in Fiesta Bowl," 2 Jan. 2021

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

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for athletic

see athlete

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Time Traveler for athletic

Time Traveler

The first known use of athletic was in 1585

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Statistics for athletic

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Athletic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for athletic


How to pronounce athletic (audio) How to pronounce athletic (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of athletic

: of or relating to athletes
: of or relating to sports, games, or exercises
: used by athletes : used during or for sports, games, or exercises


ath·​let·​ic | \ ath-ˈle-tik How to pronounce athletic (audio) \

Kids Definition of athletic

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of athletes or athletics an athletic event
2 : used by athletes athletic equipment
3 : active in sports or exercises She's very athletic.
4 : strong and muscular an athletic build


ath·​let·​ic | \ ath-ˈlet-ik How to pronounce athletic (audio) \

Medical Definition of athletic

: characterized by heavy frame, large chest, and powerful muscular development : mesomorphic

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Comments on athletic

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