physical education

noun
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of physical education

: instruction in the development and care of the body ranging from simple calisthenic exercises to a course of study providing training in hygiene, gymnastics, and the performance and management of athletic games

Examples of physical education in a Sentence

  1. He teaches physical education at the high school.

Recent Examples of physical education from the Web

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

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.

First Known Use of physical education

1748


PHYSICAL EDUCATION Defined for English Language Learners

physical education

noun

Definition of physical education for English Language Learners

  • : sports and exercise taught in schools


PHYSICAL EDUCATION Defined for Kids

physical education

noun

Definition of physical education for Students

: instruction in the care and development of the body

Learn More about physical education


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