phys ed

noun
\ ˈfiz-ˈed How to pronounce phys ed (audio) \

Definition of phys ed

The Importance (Linguistic and Otherwise) of Physical Education

Physical education has existed since ancient times, but it wasn’t until several hundred years ago that the term itself (abbreviated as phys ed or PE) came into being. Its earliest known use comes, oddly enough, from a 1748 book titled Critical Reflections on Poetry, Painting, and Music: “Cannot some years prove more favorable than others to the physical education of children. . . ?” A few decades after these words were published, gymnasiums opened across Europe, especially in Germany, where gymnastics associations (or turnvereins) fostered physical health as well as civic involvement and cultural enrichment. Thanks in part to immigration, these clubs, and European enthusiasm for athletics in general, spread to the U.S. During the 19th century, American educators adopted European methods of teaching physical training, and both the word physical education and the phenomenon it represents became well established in this country.

Examples of phys ed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During the final period of each school day, players also practiced shooting outside during phys ed class, careful to avoid dribbling and wrenching their ankles on pine roots. New York Times, 8 Mar. 2022 But the benefits reaped by his friends—especially phys ed teacher Tommy, played by Vinterberg regular Thomas Bo Larsen—are more questionable, and the stakes rise all around when Nikolaj decides to escalate the group’s Skårderudian experiment. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 19 Mar. 2021 Mike Friskey, a phys ed and weight training teacher at Bel Air High School, was excited and poised to take over the Bobcats girls soccer program. Randy Mcroberts, baltimoresun.com, 12 Aug. 2020 To someone who couldn’t even get himself over the pommel horse in phys ed, this looked like a superpower. Peter Marks, Washington Post, 30 Oct. 2019 Nicole Franklin, physical education teacher at Elmwood Park High School and a phys ed curriculum leader, expressed concernthat requiring two physical education courses for high school graduation instead of four could have negative repercussions. Rachel K. Hindery, chicagotribune.com, 24 June 2019 On this day at Wyoming High, the Calvin Johnson referee—who is a phys ed and AP History teacher when not on an NFL field—has put today’s assignment on the blackboard in this middle-class ’burb. Peter King, SI.com, 5 Dec. 2013 Completing the mile in middle school phys ed was 13-year-old me's version of torture. Alexa Tucker, SELF, 27 Sep. 2018 Karen Borrelli-Luke, a health and phys ed teacher in Camden, works at Dr. Charles Brimm Medical Arts High School, where kids are taught first aid and CPR. Kathy Boccella, Philly.com, 11 June 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of phys ed

1955, in the meaning defined above

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best home gyms.

Learn More About phys ed

Time Traveler for phys ed

Time Traveler

The first known use of phys ed was in 1955

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near phys ed

Physcomitrium

phys ed

Physeter

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for phys ed

Cite this Entry

“Phys ed.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/phys%20ed. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for phys ed

phys ed

noun
\ ˈfiz-ˈed How to pronounce phys ed (audio) \

Kids Definition of phys ed

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!