hep·​tath·​lon hep-ˈtath-lən How to pronounce heptathlon (audio)
 nonstandard  -ˈta-thə-
: a 7-event athletic contest
specifically : a composite contest for female athletes that consists of the 100-meter hurdles, the high jump, the shot put, the 200-meter dash, the long jump, the javelin throw, and the 800-meter run

Example Sentences

She won a gold medal in the heptathlon.
Recent Examples on the Web The heptathlon, which is made up of seven events, isn’t held in UIL competitions. Dallas News, 9 Nov. 2022 American Anna Hall is in contention to medal after the first day of events in the heptathlon at the World Athletics Championships. oregonlive, 17 July 2022 Sedwick also competed in the heptathlon and hurdles at UCLA and internationally into the mid 1990s. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 23 June 2022 But the heptathlon trials were set to start at 1:15 p.m. The Indianapolis Star, 8 Dec. 2022 The heptathlon and several field events were up first on the afternoon schedule, with the action on the track set to begin at 6:03 p.m. with the semifinals of the men’s 110-meter hurdles. oregonlive, 26 June 2021 The heptathlon starts June 26, but Brooks and former teammate Payton Chadwick will get going on the 100 hurdles in first-round heats Saturday. Tom Murphy, Arkansas Online, 18 June 2021 The first American to medal in heptathlon since Shelia Burrell’s bronze in 2001, Hall posted a personal best score of 6,755 points to hold off Poland’s Adrianna Sulek (6,672) to reach the podium. oregonlive, 18 July 2022 The evening session will see the finals of the women’s triple jump and women’s 1,500 meters, as well as the conclusion of the heptathlon. oregonlive, 18 July 2022 See More

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

Word History


hept- + -athlon (as in decathlon)

First Known Use

1977, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of heptathlon was in 1977

Dictionary Entries Near heptathlon

Cite this Entry

“Heptathlon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/heptathlon. Accessed 29 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


: an athletic contest made up of seven different track-and-field events

More from Merriam-Webster on heptathlon

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