ath·let·ic | \ ath-ˈle-tik , nonstandard ˌa-thə-ˈle- \

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 \ adverb
athleticism \-ˈle-tə-ˌsi-zəm \ 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

The current community center offers ice skating rinks, athletic fields, a preschool, a gymnasium and other amenities. Genevieve Bookwalter,, "$50M bond sale for Robert Crown construction approved by Evanston aldermen," 11 July 2018 Plans include expanding existing buildings, adding an arts building with an auditorium, and creating more athletic fields and a trail system through a nature area. Chris Sikich, Indianapolis Star, "University High School sells land south of 116th Street campus to Carmel developer," 11 July 2018 There are athletic fields, roads and shiny new markets being built. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Trump's wrath forces Pakistan to double down on push to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries," 10 July 2018 The park includes about 90 acres for crop production, as well as Annie’s Playground, multiple athletic fields and picnic areas and a trailhead for the Ma & Pa Heritage Trail, according to the county’s website. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Harford corn crop delayed by spring rain, challenged by summer heat," 9 July 2018 Fireworks can be watched from Clifton Heights’ athletic field, located at 217 N Springfield Rd, at 9:30 p.m. The fireworks will following a parade, flea market, and vendor event starting in the morning. Claire Wolters,, "Fireworks on July Fourth: Where to watch them in and near Philadelphia," 27 June 2018 The approximately 13-acre Queen of Peace property at 7659 S. Linder Ave. includes two buildings — the high school and a connecting building that used to serve as a convent — a parking lot, athletic fields and green space around the campus. Zak Koeske, Daily Southtown, "Special education cooperative agrees to buy Queen of Peace property for $3.25M," 27 June 2018 This class is also one scarred by anxiety and fears from school shootings nationwide, class salutatorian Chloe Becquey told students and family members gathered on the athletic field for the ceremony. Bill Leukhardt, Courant Community, "Class of 2018 Bids Southington High School Farewell," 22 June 2018 The screams carried to the athletic field and Watson’s P.E. class. Paige Cornwell, The Seattle Times, "They survived a school shooting as freshmen. Four years later, a diploma doesn’t erase the pain.," 10 June 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

23 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for athletic

The first known use of athletic was in 1585

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More Definitions for athletic



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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of athletic 

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

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Comments on athletic

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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