\ ˈspȯrt How to pronounce sport (audio) \
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 [sport entry 2] : 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 [sport entry 2] : 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
b : often mean-spirited jesting : mockery, derision
3a : something tossed or driven about in or as if in play
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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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

Verb 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 Noun She likes to play sport. Ice-skating with friends is my favorite sport.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The students invited him to sporting events, birthday parties, graduations and open houses. Justin L. Mack, The Indianapolis Star, "Father and son with shared name, love of laughter die days apart of coronavirus," 26 May 2020 His group includes Oregon lighting specialists, event planners, ticket sellers, venue owners and many others who make concerts, festivals, sporting events, corporate events, weddings and other large gatherings happen. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Oregon’s live events industry says it needs more help to survive coronavirus shutdown," 22 May 2020 Theaters, sporting events and movie theaters are closed completely in phase three and four. Michelle Boorstein, Anchorage Daily News, "Catholics and Lutherans in Minnesota plan to buck their state’s governor and reopen churches May 26," 22 May 2020 That stage allows large events like conventions and sporting events, although with social distancing. NBC News, "Northam to open Virginia Beach in time for holiday weekend," 20 May 2020 Other theaters, museums, sporting events and large gatherings also remain off limits. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Broadway shows expected to stay closed until September," 12 May 2020 The card is big time with the UFC is banking on fans wanting to tune in to a premier, live sporting event during the pandemic. cleveland, "Order UFC 249: Ferguson vs Gaethje at a discount on ESPN+," 9 May 2020 Lutz Pfannenstiel, sporting director at Bundesliga club Fortuna Düsseldorf, says the return of action behind closed doors is vital for the survival of a league that depends so much on money from television rights. Ben Church, CNN, "Cut-out fans and virtual menus mark the new normal for German football," 9 May 2020 An effort last year to hire the former captain Carles Puyol as sporting director also failed. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "Andrés Iniesta Plots a Return to Barcelona, Where the Beauty Is Gone," 9 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The mayor also announced that residents will be allowed to walk in the parks with some restrictions and engage in sports in the mornings. Time, "41 Million People Have Applied for U.S. Jobless Aid Since Pandemic Started, But Layoffs Slow," 28 May 2020 Can this be a model for what will follow in Arizona high school sports? Richard Obert, azcentral, "Path back to playing fields for Arizona high school, youth sports starts with baby steps," 28 May 2020 Mastrian was named team captain in all three sports. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Marion County and City Male and Female Athletes of the Year," 27 May 2020 But in 3-D printing, as in sports, perseverance pays off. Dan Simmons, Washington Post, "For Illinois teen, a 3-D printer becomes a tool to help health-care workers," 26 May 2020 Just last week, the SEC and the Big 12 announced that schools slowly would be bringing athletes in all sports back to campus for voluntary activities starting June 8 at the discretion of each university. Fox News, "Michigan president says student athletes won't be allowed on campus unless entire student body can return," 26 May 2020 While the issue tends to lose some of its relevance at lower latitudes, containing travel costs is an important consideration in a sport in which only a handful of schools show a surplus. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's Dan McDonnell favors plan to push back college baseball season," 26 May 2020 The latest incident took place on Saturday in Formula E's Race at Home challenge, where the sport's real-world stars show up to compete in rFactor 2 to raise money for UNICEF. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Audi parks driver for using a ringer in charity esports race," 26 May 2020 Jack Flaherty, who emerged as one of the top young pitchers in the sport, was their Competitive Balance round pick in 2014. Bobby Nightengale,, "Hitting home runs with 1st-round picks are key for Cincinnati Reds, NL Central teams," 25 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for sport

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for sport

Last Updated

30 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sport.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for sport


How to pronounce sport (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sport

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: to wear (something) in a way that attracts attention
literary : 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
British : 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
chiefly US : participating in an activity (such as hunting or fishing) for enjoyment rather than as a job or for food for survival


\ ˈspȯrt How to pronounce sport (audio) \

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 How to pronounce sport (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on sport

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sport

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sport

Spanish Central: Translation of sport

Nglish: Translation of sport for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sport for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sport

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