Definition of peloton
: the main body of riders in a bicycle race
peloton was our Word of the Day on 07/06/2010. Hear the podcast!
Examples of peloton in a sentence
He broke away from the peloton and sprinted into the lead.
Did You Know?
If you've ever watched the Tour de France on television, you've seen the peloton, the brightly colored pack of riders making up the central group. You may have also gained some inadvertent insight into the word itself, which as you may have guessed is French in origin. In French, "peloton" literally means "ball," but it is most often used with the meaning "group." It's frequently used in the bicycling context, just as in English, but it can also refer to a group in a marathon or other sporting event. French peloton can also mean "squad" or "platoon," and since we’ve told you that you probably won’t be too surprised to learn that it is also the source of our word platoon.
Origin and Etymology of peloton
French, literally, ball — more at platoon
First Known Use: 1951
PELOTON Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of peloton for English Language Learners
: the main group of riders in a bicycle race
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