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.
Recent Examples of peloton from the Web
Each July, as millions of spectators and fans tune in to watch the Tour, either in person or on Versus, the effortless athleticism and unflappable determination of the peloton highlight one of the greatest marvels of the sporting world.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peloton'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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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