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 \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce athletically (audio) \ adverb
athleticism \ -​ˈle-​tə-​ˌsi-​zəm How to pronounce athleticism (audio) \ noun

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

ASU Vice President for Athletics Ray Anderson said given GCU's return to non-profit status a year ago that ASU President Michael Crow is no longer prohibiting athletic competition between the cross-town Division I schools. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "ASU changes policy, Sun Devil athletics free to add Grand Canyon opponents to schedules," 11 July 2019 The 6-foot-4, 246 pound pass catcher is athletic with good speed at tight end. Tyler Dragon,, "All-AFC North Team: Browns TE David Njoku in a player to watch in Cleveland," 11 July 2019 Betty was a devoted wife and mother who was athletic and enjoyed the outdoors, traveling, reading and family activities., "Elizabeth Anne Dimock," 25 June 2019 This isn’t a classic game show format, but an athletic competition, featuring mini-golf aficionados teeing off against each other., "Amid so much grim TV, ABC’s ‘Summer Fun & Games’ shows send your brain on a ‘Whammy’-fueled vacation," 18 June 2019 That all changes in the world of intense athletic competitions, though. Daniel Wolfe, Quartz, "Pregnancy pushes the body nearly as much as extreme endurance sports," 6 June 2019 An attack by the Persians came in 480 B.C., and one by the Gauls followed in 279 B.C. Rome took over Delphi in 191 B.C., but allowed the religious rituals and athletic competitions to continue. National Geographic, "Once sacred, the Oracle at Delphi was lost for a millennium. See how it was found.," 12 Mar. 2019 Traditional and not-so-traditional events aside, the X Games isn’t just an athletic competition. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "The 2019 Winter X Games Starts This Week—Here’s What You Need to Know," 23 Jan. 2019 When deciding whether to ban a substance or technique from athletic competition, anti-doping authorities weigh three criteria: 1) Does it enhance performance? Umair Irfan, Vox, "Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte broke doping rules. It happens far more than you think.," 24 July 2018

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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Statistics for athletic

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for athletic

The first known use of athletic was in 1585

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on athletic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with athletic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for athletic

Spanish Central: Translation of athletic

Nglish: Translation of athletic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of athletic for Arabic Speakers

Comments on athletic

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