gym·​kha·​na | \ jim-ˈkä-nə How to pronounce gymkhana (audio) , -ˈka- How to pronounce gymkhana (audio) \

Definition of gymkhana

: a meet featuring sports contests or athletic skills: such as
a : competitive games on horseback
b : a timed contest for automobiles featuring a series of events designed to test driving skill

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Did You Know?

Both the word gymkhana and the event it describes originated in 19th-century India. The word is probably an alteration of the Hindi "gedkhana," which describes a ball- playing area similar to a racket ball court, with the first syllable influenced by our word gymnasium. The first gymkhanas were displays of athletics and equestrian skill, and while those are still common, the 20th century introduced a new kind of gymkhana, designed to show off car handling. These newer gymkhanas are often held in parking lots, where contestants race over tight, twisting courses marked with cones or pylons.

Examples of gymkhana in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the episode, Ken talks with editor Jake Lingeman about the newest gymkhana car, the Hoonifox, and his aspirations to film it in Miami with an '80s Miami Vice vibe. Maxwell B. Mortimer, Car and Driver, "Watch Ken Block on Idris Elba, Gymkhana, and Crazy Jumps in Autoweek Video," 14 May 2020 Workers were dragging and wetting the sand/clay mixture before the start of the gymkhana event, and the girls wanted a front row seat. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Speed, Precision, Athleticism On Display At Brooklyn Fair Gymkhana," 5 Sep. 2017 Veronica Duncan knew at once what to look for in a pony or a horse, after all those gymkhanas and point-to-points. The Economist, "In cold bloodLady Lucan was found dead on September 26th," 12 Oct. 2017 And for the horse lovers, there was a gymkhana in the arena. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "Brooklyn Ag Days Celebrates Agricultural Traditions," 14 June 2017

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

1877, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gymkhana

probably modification of Hindi gẽdkhāna & Urdu gendkhāna, literally, ball court

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The first known use of gymkhana was in 1877

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Cite this Entry

“Gymkhana.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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