ath·​let·​ics ath-ˈle-tiks How to pronounce athletics (audio)
ˌa-thə-ˈle- How to pronounce athletics (audio)
plural in form but singular or plural in construction
: exercises, sports, or games engaged in by athletes
: the practice or principles of athletic activities

Examples of athletics in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Holland later went on to a long coaching career at Virginia and then as athletics director at Davidson, Virginia and East Carolina. Steve Lyttle, Charlotte Observer, 17 Feb. 2024 What is an athletics program without a lot of cash? Sportsday Staff, Dallas News, 30 Aug. 2023 In February, 2022, Noem signed S.B. 46, which prohibits trans girls from competing on sports teams concurrent with their gender identities, joining a slew of other U.S. states that recently signed athletics-specific anti-trans legislation. CBS News, 13 Feb. 2023 Georgia athletics director Josh Brooks was not immediately available to comment on the football recruiting spending. Marc Weiszer, USA TODAY, 9 Feb. 2023 Auburn athletics operated at a $9.7 million deficit during the 2020-21 fiscal year, as revenue fell by $30 million year over year. Tom Green |, al, 7 Feb. 2023 The Eagles open on the road at No. 8 Legacy Charter, which earned its first district title in any sport since the school started athletics in 2010. J.c. Carnahan, Orlando Sentinel, 6 Feb. 2023 With much sports programming focused on live events or scores and highlights, OTL carved out a niche (along with the HBO series Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel) as a home for investigations and interviews that touched on athletics. Alex Weprin, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Feb. 2023 Here’s a look at what happened in McDaniel athletics this week. Emily Hollwedel, Baltimore Sun, 3 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'athletics.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1738, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of athletics was in 1738

Dictionary Entries Near athletics

Cite this Entry

“Athletics.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


noun singular or plural
ath·​let·​ics ath-ˈlet-iks How to pronounce athletics (audio)
: games, sports, and exercises requiring strength and skill
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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