Definition of decathlon
: a 10-event athletic contest; specifically : a composite contest that consists of the 100-meter, 400-meter, and 1500-meter runs, the 110-meter high hurdles, the javelin and discus throws, shot put, pole vault, high jump, and long jump
Did You Know?
Decathlon from deca- and athlon, "contest", means "ten contests". The ancient Greek Olympics held five-contest competitions, or pentathlons, that were based on the skills needed in battle. The modern Olympic decathlon, which was born in 1912, consists of the 100-meter run, 400-meter run, 1500-meter run, 110-meter high hurdles, javelin throw, discus throw, shot put, pole vault, high jump, and long jump. The original winner was the legendary Jim Thorpe, who would later be judged the greatest American athlete of the 20th century. And ever since, the Olympic decathlon winner has been called the finest all-around athlete in the world.
Origin and Etymology of decathlon
French décathlon, from déca- deca- + -athlon (as in pentathlon)
First Known Use: 1910
DECATHLON Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of decathlon for English Language Learners
: a sports contest for men that consists of 10 different events
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