er·​go·​gen·​ic ˌər-gə-ˈje-nik How to pronounce ergogenic (audio)
: enhancing physical performance
athletic use of caffeine and other ergogenic aids

Did you know?

No matter your profession - be it office worker, athlete, physicist, or poet - "ergon," the Greek word for "work," has generated a word for you to work into your vocabulary. There is "ergonomics," which concerns efficiently and safely designing things that people use - for example, office equipment. Then there is our featured word, "ergogenic," which might crop up in a discussion about improving athletic performance. The physicist's mind is likely to think in "ergs," or centimeter-gram-second units of work. And for those of the literary, or even agricultural, bent, there is "georgic," which combines "ergon" with Greek geō-, meaning "earth," and refers to a poem dealing with agriculture or to the activity of agriculture itself. The most common derivative, however, is "energy," which adds Greek en, meaning "in," to "ergon."

Examples of ergogenic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Many athletes use caffeine supplements as an ergogenic aid before workouts or competitions. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 8 Aug. 2023 Science has gone back and forth on this question, with the most recent research suggesting that caffeine is most effective in athletes who do not habitually drink coffee or consume other caffeine sources, or who have at least taken a break from caffeine prior to using it as an ergogenic aid. Matt Fitzgerald, Outside Online, 15 June 2020 For both elite and non-elite runners, pre-race caffeine is a proven ergogenic aid, helping to stave off fatigue, thereby extending endurance, and should be considered as a useful nutritional tool for half-marathon performance. Andrew Hamilton, Outside Online, 11 Mar. 2020 Products containing these ingredients are sometimes called ergogenic aids, and are often sold in drugstores, organic food stores, and fitness clubs. Amanda MacMillan,, 25 Jan. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ergogenic.' 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

1910, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ergogenic was in 1910


Dictionary Entries Near ergogenic

Cite this Entry

“Ergogenic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


er·​go·​gen·​ic ˌər-gə-ˈjen-ik How to pronounce ergogenic (audio)
: increasing capacity for bodily or mental labor especially by eliminating fatigue symptoms
an ergogenic drug
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