tour·​na·​ment | \ ˈtu̇r-nə-mənt also ˈtər- or ˈtȯr- How to pronounce tournament (audio) \

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 Even though the odds of making the play-in tournament are slim, LaVine was set on coming back to finish the season. Jamal Collier,, "Zach LaVine will return Thursday from an 11-game absence after testing positive for COVID-19 — despite the Chicago Bulls’ postseason chances being all but done," 5 May 2021 Washington has won 11 of its last 13 to surge into contention for the new play-in tournament. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, "'Point guards don't do what he does': Wizards' Russell Westbrook drops crazy stat line," 4 May 2021 With just six games left, Golden State now has almost no chance of securing the seventh spot in the Western Conference standings for homecourt advantage throughout the play-in tournament. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Steph Curry struggles late as Warriors lose to Pelicans and fall back to .500," 4 May 2021 Considering the one and two seeds will have less time to prepare for their first-round opponent determined by the play-in tournament, Williams suggests the eighth and seventh seeds start their opening series down 1-0 to the respective top two seeds. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, "Countdown to playoff: Suns' Monty Williams explains 'goofy' idea of play-in winners starting down 1-0 in first round," 4 May 2021 The Lakers are currently fifth in the Western Conference, one game ahead of seventh and a spot in the NBA’s postseason play-in tournament. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, "LeBron James probably will miss Lakers’ next two games ... and maybe more," 4 May 2021 Both teams are looking to avoid dropping as low as seventh, which would force them into the play-in tournament. Paul Newberry, ajc, "Gallinari, Bogdanovic lead Hawks past Trail Blazers 123-114," 4 May 2021 Cuban is a part of the NBA board of governors who unanimously approved the use of a play-in tournament this season. Joey Hayden, Dallas News, "LeBron James rips NBA’s play-in format: ‘Whoever came up with that (expletive) needs to be fired’," 3 May 2021 The 129-119 loss had so many repercussions and puts so much pressure on the team to win at least five or six of its final seven games to avoid the play-in tournament., "The pressure’s on: The Celtics are going to need to be better," 3 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for tournament

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tournament

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tournament.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for tournament



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 How to pronounce tournament (audio) \

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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