ath·​let·​ics | \ ath-ˈle-tiks How to pronounce athletics (audio) , nonstandard ˌa-thə-ˈle- How to pronounce athletics (audio) \

Definition of athletics

1 : exercises, sports, or games engaged in by athletes
2 : the practice or principles of athletic activities

Examples of athletics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Trans women competitors have enjoyed success in sports including weightlifting, cycling and athletics. The Economist, "Letting trans women play in women’s sports is often unfair," 17 Oct. 2020 The finalists, three from each NCAA division, were selected from the top 30 Woman of the Year honorees based on achievements in athletics, academics, community service and leadership. Jeff Metcalfe, The Arizona Republic, "Former ASU triathlete Charlotte Ahrens finalist for NCAA Woman of the Year," 15 Oct. 2020 That has an effect on high school athletics, as well. Dallas News, "Dale Hansen goes ‘Unplugged’ on TXHSFB: ‘I’m starting to think this high school football season is a mistake’," 10 Oct. 2020 With financial hardship being a byproduct of the coronavirus pandemic, every school is looking for ways to replace revenue lost due to the cancellation of spring athletics and the social distancing required this fall with limited spectators. Scott Springer, The Enquirer, "UC Sports Administration program helps high schools attract much-needed athletic funding," 5 Oct. 2020 Ticket revenue from football games is used to pay stadium rental fees and other costs associated with high school athletics. Chris Dabe,, "Holy Cross-Jesuit football game will be played in Hammond," 30 Sep. 2020 The class immediately becomes one of the most geographically diverse in the Yellow Jackets athletics program, with athletes from Arizona, California and Hawaii. Sam Boyer, cleveland, "Local students selected for university honors," 25 Sep. 2020 As the season approached, nearby Tuckahoe High School shut down its athletics program because of financial problems and Jim Roberson, a talented Black football player at Tuckahoe, expressed interest in playing at Bronxville. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Does Roger Goodell have what it takes to lead NFL on racial injustice issues?," 9 Sep. 2020 This was before the Big Ten Conference postponed fall competition, erasing more than $60 million from the university’s athletics program. Sarah Watson, Star Tribune, "A new front in America's pandemic: College towns," 7 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'athletics.' 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 athletics

1738, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for athletics

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The first known use of athletics was in 1738

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Statistics for athletics

Last Updated

20 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Athletics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for athletics


How to pronounce athletics (audio) How to pronounce athletics (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of athletics

US : sports, games, and exercises that require strength and skill : athletic activities


noun plural
ath·​let·​ics | \ ath-ˈle-tiks How to pronounce athletics (audio) \

Kids Definition of athletics

: games, sports, and exercises requiring strength, endurance, and skill
Hint: Athletics can be used as a singular or a plural in writing and speaking. Athletics is an important part of their curriculum. Athletics are helpful in staying fit.

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