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

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 By adding the superbly athletic and still-developing Walker opposite a potential budding star in Josh Sweat, the Eagles would give themselves one of the league's most physically imposing pair of defensive ends. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, 13 Jan. 2022 Andrew is still listed on the Palace’s website as a patron of dozens of charities, including hospitals, schools, athletic clubs, and scholarship foundations, but Thursday’s statement is posted at the top of his biography. Andrea Marks, Rolling Stone, 13 Jan. 2022 Juan De La Cruz, bench; Tyler Grisdale, strength and conditioning and Jacob Legan, athletic trainer. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 13 Jan. 2022 This drive for athletic gratification—and having a healthy relationship with exercise in general—is relatively new to me. Sarah Rose Yalowitz, SELF, 11 Jan. 2022 All four have had PIL athletic contests canceled or postponed. Ryan Clarke | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 11 Jan. 2022 The German athletic shoe and clothing maker has leased 107,000 square feet in a new Brookfield Asset Management redevelopment, the developer said. Peter Grant, WSJ, 11 Jan. 2022 Sabres athletic trainer Jim Pizzutelli, who had been an U.S. Army combat medic in Vietnam, pinched and held Malarchuk’s neck until doctors arrived, saving his life. Dom Amore,, 11 Jan. 2022 Pilewski said that since all campuses will be offering on-site instruction, starting Wednesday, all after-school activities, athletic practices and events will resume Wednesday. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, 11 Jan. 2022

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

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The first known use of athletic was in 1585

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Dictionary Entries Near athletic

athlete's heart



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Statistics for athletic

Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Athletic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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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 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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