tour·​na·​ment | \ˈtu̇r-nə-mənt also ˈtər- or ˈtȯr- \

Definition of tournament 

1 : a series of games or contests that make up a single unit of competition (as on a professional golf tour), the championship playoffs of a league or conference, or an invitational event

2a : a knightly sport of the Middle Ages between mounted combatants armed with blunted lances or swords and divided into two parties contesting for a prize or favor bestowed by the lady of the tournament

b : the whole series of knightly sports, jousts, and tilts occurring at one time and place

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Examples of tournament in a Sentence

She's an excellent tennis player who has won many tournaments. a golf tournament in which professionals compete against amateurs

Recent Examples on the Web

The school missed the NCAA tournament and is still grappling with a swift fall from grace. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Criminal Trial is Over. Will NCAA Sanctions Follow?," 25 Oct. 2018 There would be ups and downs to come—solid play at Indian Wells, a tournament win in Miami, a closely fought championship final at the French, another first-round exit at Wimbledon. Louisa Thomas, Vogue, "Can Sloane Stephens Repeat her US Open Triumph?," 16 Aug. 2018 The Bruins went to the NCAA tournament all four of Knight's seasons under coach Steve Lavin, reaching the regional semifinals in each of his last three years. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Former UCLA basketball player Billy Knight found dead," 10 July 2018 The Broncos have advanced to the NCAA Tournament three of the past four seasons, but those accomplishments didn't do much to impress the tournament selection committee. Rachel Roberts, idahostatesman, "Boise State will host Final Four squad in Taco Bell Arena this November," 10 July 2018 The team did not participate in the NCAA tournament because graduate students were not allowed to play. Washington Post, "Frank Ramsey, NBA Hall of Famer and versatile ‘sixth man,’ dies at 86," 10 July 2018 One of the former Texas Tech standout’s highlights is a 360-degree dunk on an alley-oop pass in the NCAA tournament. Keith Pompey,, "Patience remains key in Sixers' guard Zhaire Smith's growth," 7 July 2018 Campana was named the America East Conference Player of the Year, leading the Hawks into the NCAA tournament for the first time., "Regional Digest: Hamburger Leads Bees Past Ducks, 4-1," 5 July 2018 He and Lehigh went on to upset Duke in the first round of the NCAA tournament that season. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "C.J. McCollum recalls how being cut from Team USA was 'blessing in disguise'," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tournament.' 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 tournament

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for tournament

Middle English tornement, from Anglo-French turneiement, from turneier

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Last Updated

17 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for tournament

The first known use of tournament was in the 13th century

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English Language Learners Definition of tournament

: a sports competition or series of contests that involves many players or teams and that usually continues for at least several days

: a contest of skill and courage between soldiers or knights in the Middle Ages


tour·​na·​ment | \ˈtu̇r-nə-mənt \

Kids Definition of tournament

1 : a series of contests played for a championship a golf tournament a chess tournament

2 : a contest between knights wearing armor and fighting with blunted lances or swords

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