\ˈspȯrt \
sported; sporting; sports

Definition of sport 

(Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to amuse oneself : frolic lambs sporting in the meadow

b : to engage in a sport

2a : to mock or ridicule something

b : to speak or act in jest : trifle

3 [ 2sport ] : to deviate or vary abruptly from type (as by bud variation) : mutate

transitive verb

1 : to display or wear usually ostentatiously : boast sporting expensive new shoes

2 [ 2sport ] : to put forth as a sport or bud variation



Definition of sport (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : a source of diversion : recreation

b : sexual play

c(1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure

(2) : a particular activity (such as an athletic game) so engaged in

2a : pleasantry, jest

b : often mean-spirited jesting : mockery, derision

3a : something tossed or driven about in or as if in play

b : laughingstock

4a : sportsman

b : a person considered with respect to living up to the ideals of sportsmanship a good sport a poor sport

c : a companionable person

5 : an individual exhibiting a sudden deviation from type beyond the normal limits of individual variation usually as a result of mutation especially of somatic tissue


variants: or sports

Definition of sport (Entry 3 of 3)

: of, relating to, or suitable for sports especially : styled in a manner suitable for casual or informal wear sport coats

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Synonyms & Antonyms for sport

Synonyms: Verb

display, disport, exhibit, expose, flash, flaunt, lay out, parade, produce, show, show off, strut, unveil

Synonyms: Noun

fun, game, jest, play

Antonyms: Noun


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for sport


fun, jest, sport, game, play mean action or speech that provides amusement or arouses laughter. fun usually implies laughter or gaiety but may imply merely a lack of serious or ulterior purpose. played cards just for fun jest implies lack of earnestness and may suggest a hoaxing or teasing. hurt by remarks said only in jest sport applies especially to the arousing of laughter against someone. teasing begun in sport led to anger game is close to sport, and often stresses mischievous or malicious fun. made game of their poor relations play stresses the opposition to earnest without implying any malice or mischief. pretended to strangle his brother in play

Examples of sport in a Sentence


She showed up at the party sporting a bright red hat. from sailing to snorkeling, each day we sported at a different activity offered by the beach resort


She likes to play sport. Ice-skating with friends is my favorite sport.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Jon Lester, sporting 11 wins and a 2.45 ERA on his way to a fifth All-Star Game, is the only starter who can be counted on. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "The Cubs aren't getting Manny Machado - and they're not worried if the Brewers do," 10 July 2018 Unlike a sporting event in which one side prevails and the other is defeated, there’s no guarantee that either side will win as the U.S. and China engage in an escalating dispute over tariffs. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "Trade wars are damaging, so why is Trump fighting one with China?," 13 July 2018 The couple are one of scores to have formed between a Russian and a foreigner during the world’s largest sporting event, which has seen almost 3 million international visitors flood the country. Amie Ferris-rotman, Washington Post, "At World Cup, Russians embrace the world, one relationship at a time," 9 July 2018 The facility also hosts theater performances, concerts, festivals and even sporting events. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "How a Record-Breaking Aerial Tramway Helped Save a Centuries-Old Armenian Monastery," 6 July 2018 Positions are wide-ranging, including sales representatives, customer service, finance and data analysts, material handlers, commodity buyers, sporting event greeters, marketing associates, caregivers and insurance agents. Marcia Heroux Pounds,, "More than 35 employers hiring at July 11 job fair in Miami Lakes," 6 July 2018 Gambling on sporting events has come a long way in the more than 25 years in which PASPA was law. Jonathan Sperling, Fortune, "How E-Sports Betting Could Explode," 29 June 2018 There is also the political and historical storyline of a member of the former Yugoslavia playing in the biggest sporting event Russia has ever hosted. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Why Jeff Greer sees Croatia facing Brazil in the World Cup 2018 final," 29 June 2018 Any fan of the World Cup knows that politics are inextricably linked to the world’s greatest sporting event. Ann Killion,, "Shut up and dribble? Not in basketball. Certainly not in soccer," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Schenkein grew up in the Forest Hills section of Queens and was always a fan of racquet sports. Jonathan Saltzman,, "This CEO doesn’t like to be cornered," 14 July 2018 Dulaney High two-sport standout Maggie Kelly is the 2018 Towson Times Female Athlete of the Year after helping to lead the Lions to the state championship game in field hockey and lacrosse. Craig Clary,, "Dulaney High's Maggie Kelly is Towson Times Female Athlete of the Year," 13 July 2018 Plus: a butch parade and an art-meets-sports night. Carolina A. Miranda,, "Datebook: Shots of old Route 66, dreamlike paintings and garments fashioned from paper," 12 July 2018 The governing bodies for each sport effectively operate as independent non-profits but must meet requirements set by the USOC. Rachel Axon, USA TODAY, "USOC names new CEO at critical time for Olympic movement," 12 July 2018 The two sports officially became known as Rugby Football and Association Football. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Why Do Americans Call It Soccer Instead of Football? Blame England," 11 July 2018 Then Jordan’s alleged connection to the Ohio State investigation into a former athletic doctor, Richard Strauss, who allegedly groped student-athletes across 14 sports, gave donors more reason to fill Garrett’s coffers. Tara Golshan, Vox, "Meet the Democrat trying to unseat scandal-plagued Rep. Jim Jordan in his heavily Republican district," 11 July 2018 What are the hottest tickets this year? Broadway buffs and Colts fans rejoice: Here are eight great sports, music, fashion and film events. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Here's what you need to know about Black Expo 2018," 11 July 2018 Become a subscriber today to support sports commentary like this. Peter Schmuck,, "Schmuck: Orioles finally welcome Brooks Robinson home, name him special advisor," 15 July 2018

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

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First Known Use of sport


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1586, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for sport


Middle English, to divert, disport, short for disporten

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Learn More about sport

Statistics for sport

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sport

The first known use of sport was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for sport



English Language Learners Definition of sport

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to wear (something) in a way that attracts attention

: to play in a happy and lively way



English Language Learners Definition of sport (Entry 2 of 3)

: a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other

: sports in general

: a physical activity (such as hunting, fishing, running, swimming, etc.) that is done for enjoyment



English Language Learners Definition of sport (Entry 3 of 3)

: done for enjoyment rather than as a job or for food for survival

: participating in an activity (such as hunting or fishing) for enjoyment rather than as a job or for food for survival


\ˈspȯrt \

Kids Definition of sport

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : physical activity (as running or an athletic game) engaged in for pleasure or exercise Skating is my favorite sport.

2 : a person who shows good sportsmanship He's a sport and doesn't mind losing. Don't be a bad sport.

4 : fun entry 1 sense 3 He made sport of their embarrassment.


sported; sporting

Kids Definition of sport (Entry 2 of 2)

: to wear in a way that attracts attention He sported new sneakers.


\ˈspō(ə)rt, ˈspȯ(ə)rt \

Medical Definition of sport 

: an individual exhibiting a sudden deviation from type beyond the normal limits of individual variation usually as a result of mutation especially of somatic tissue

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Comments on sport

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lying above or upon

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