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

Perhaps Spain can pull off a final four appearance in 2019, though their athletic limitations could prove significant a decade after nearly shocking the Redeem Team. Michael Shapiro,, "Which FIBA World Cup Teams Are Real Threats to Team USA?," 23 Aug. 2019 Dance and especially ballet is as great an athletic feat as any sport with balls. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Lara Spencer Apologizes for Mocking Prince George's Love of Ballet on 'Good Morning America'," 23 Aug. 2019 The initial video obtained by the Daily Beast — which posted about eight seconds of it — shows members of the boys’ water polo team at Pacifica High School in an empty room that administrative officials say was later used for an athletic banquet. Washington Post, "School reopens probe of Nazi salute video," 23 Aug. 2019 The nation's largest sporting goods-only retailer reported strong results from its other businesses: athletic equipment, clothing and footwear. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Dick's is still figuring out what to do with its gun business," 22 Aug. 2019 For 10 days, machines kept 17-year-old Tryston Zohfeld alive while doctors tried to determine why this formerly healthy, athletic teen's lungs were failing. CBS News, "Teen spent 10 days on a ventilator after his lungs failed. Doctors think vaping is to blame.," 22 Aug. 2019 About a third of some $300 billion of Chinese imports — including athletic footwear, coats and electronics like televisions sets — face additional 10% tariffs next month. Los Angeles Times, "Is Trump relying on American consumers to save the economy from recession?," 22 Aug. 2019 The athletic tomboy, all of 9, wasn’t the least bit interested in the preacher’s son. Mary Wakeford, azcentral, "Couple finds the perfect Victorian home in Peoria. Take a look," 22 Aug. 2019 Putting an athletic Brandon Kipper on the right side of the line should help, too., "Oregon State football: 10 takeaways as Beavers end preseason camp and head into Oklahoma State prep," 22 Aug. 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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Statistics for athletic

Last Updated

26 Aug 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

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


to make or get by devious means

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