dis·​cus | \ ˈdi-skəs How to pronounce discus (audio) \
plural discuses

Definition of discus

: a heavy disk (as of wood or plastic) that is thicker in the center than at the perimeter and that is hurled for distance as a track-and-field event also : the event

Illustration of discus

Illustration of discus

Examples of discus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Lynna Irby, Pike High School, 400 meters and 1,600-meter relay; Devynne Charlton, Purdue (and the Bahamas), 100-meter hurdles; Rachel Dinkoff, Waterloo, discus, and Kara Winger, Purdue, javelin. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 14 July 2022 Redshirt senior Turner Washington and graduate student Jorinde van Klinken hope to repeat as national champions in the discus throw, while Washington looks to defend his championship in shot put as well. Drew Schott, The Arizona Republic, 7 June 2022 The senior had a discus throw of 145-feet 3-inches at the state tournament Saturday, winning the state championship and snapping her already previous set state mark. Alex Harrison, The Enquirer, 5 June 2022 Darla Jagrosse won the discus (120 feet, 2 inches) and finished second in the shot. Lori Riley, Hartford Courant, 3 June 2022 Elsewhere, Cathedral Catholic’s Kennedy Clarke, the state leader in the shot put at 47-5, qualified in both that event and the discus throw. Steve Brand, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 May 2022 DebeeTlumacki Dover-Sherborn's Ryan Kane puts his all into the discus throw. Cam Kerry, BostonGlobe.com, 21 May 2022 Jacoba Luteyn, Bishop Kelly: 41-00.75 Girls discus: 1. oregonlive, 29 Apr. 2022 Hope Gordon of Notre Dame won the girls’ shotput (42-7) and teammate April Fontenette won the discus (141-5). Eric Sondheimer Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 7 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of discus

1581, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for discus

borrowed from Latin discus, borrowed from Greek dískos "discus," in Late Greek also "dish, round mirror, the sun's disk, gong," of uncertain origin

Note: For English loanwords going back to dískos see dais, desk, dish entry 1, and disk entry 1. Greek dískos is generally said to be a derivative of the verb dikeîn "to throw, cast, fling" (aorist only), presumably as a simplification of *dikskos, with a suffix -sk-. P. Chantraine is certain of this in Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue grecque, but less confident in La formation des noms en grec ancien, where this etymology is followed by a question mark (p. 405). Clearly, if such a suffix existed in Greek, the evidence is meager (and the productivity of the diminutive suffix -isko- is not relevant). R. Beekes (Etymological Dictionary of Greek) suggests that the earlier form was *diks-, which together with dikeîn is of non-Indo-European substratal origin, citing Edzard Furnée, Die wichtigsten konsonantischen Erscheinungen des Vorgriechischen (Mouton, 1972), p. 297.

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Discus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discus. Accessed 2 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for discus


dis·​cus | \ ˈdi-skəs How to pronounce discus (audio) \
plural discuses

Kids Definition of discus

: an object that is shaped like a disk and hurled for distance in a track-and-field event


dis·​cus | \ ˈdis-kəs How to pronounce discus (audio) \
plural disci\ -​ˌkī How to pronounce discus (audio) , -​kē How to pronounce discus (audio) \

Medical Definition of discus

: any of various rounded and flattened anatomical structures

More from Merriam-Webster on discus

Nglish: Translation of discus for Spanish Speakers


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