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 athletically (audio) \ adverb
athleticism \ ath-​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 Hyperice has focused their line of power massagers on athletic performance and recovery, and have even partnered with tennis phenom Naomi Osaka. Popular Science, "Four handheld power massagers for athletes and desk workers," 6 Jan. 2020 People forget how, fundamentally, shooting is an athletic act. John B. Snow, Outdoor Life, "Q&A with Stephen Hunter, Author of the New Bob Lee Swagger Novel," 2 Jan. 2020 Good linebackers, long, tall, lanky, rangy guys that are really athletic. Stefan Krajisnik, Indianapolis Star, "Gator Bowl: Indiana eyes first bowl win since 1991, 'show nation what IU football is about'," 1 Jan. 2020 From grueling marathons to downhill ski races, Kate’s younger sister is famously athletic, having kept up a tireless workout routine over the years. Jen Juneau,, "Pippa Middleton Looks Stunning in a Bikini During Christmas Vacation with Family in St. Barts," 26 Dec. 2019 This kid is athletic, long and really loves the game. Michael Lev, azcentral, "Arizona football signs 12; Sumlin prepares for 'mad scramble' in January," 18 Dec. 2019 Set in rough-and-tumble contemporary New York City, this production features a dozen dancers, athletic hip-hop choreography, street moves, acrobatic break dancing and a show-opening set by hip-hop founding father Kurtis Blow. Greg Crawford,, "Detroit's Top 10: Cool things to do this weekend, including Mannheim Steamroller, Santarchy, 'Rise of Skywalker'," 18 Dec. 2019 Whereas the most athletic Texan youths pour their competitive spirit into football, Texan school administrators put theirs into building big stadiums. The Economist, "In praise of high-school football," 14 Dec. 2019 All but two coaches and one athletic director declined interviews. Kenny Jacoby, USA Today, "Jay Hopson Blake Anderson Rod Reed Charlie Strong Seth Littrell Eric Dooley Rocky Long Craig Schurig Wes Kittley Nick Bobeck Shawn Lutz Terry Bowden Sean Kugler Roman Banks Buzz Peterson Jon Harris Mike Sanford Sr. Clarence McKinney Chuck Priore Terry Sims Matt Viator Mel Tucker Kirby Cannon Larry Kennan Hannah Weiss John Grass Doc Holliday Doug Martin Mitch Stewart Tim Beck Kelvin Sampson Tim Flo," 12 Dec. 2019

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

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Athletic.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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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

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


to insert between existing elements

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