ath·​lete | \ ˈath-ˌlēt How to pronounce athlete (audio) , nonstandard ˈa-thə-ˌlēt How to pronounce athlete (audio) \

Definition of athlete

1 : a person who is trained or skilled in exercises, sports, or games requiring physical strength, agility, or stamina
2 : an animal (such as a horse or a dog) that competes in races or other sporting events or has qualities (such as stamina and agility) suggestive of a human athlete Hospice working dogs were wiry, muscular, agile, yellowish-tan or brown athletes with unexaggerated heads …— Deborah Lawson

Examples of athlete in a Sentence

Athletes from around the world will be competing at the Olympics. She was quite an athlete as a child.
Recent Examples on the Web Ending her daily marathon journey at 104 days, the athlete is now excited to catch up on spending quality time with her family. Vanessa Etienne,, 5 May 2022 The most prominent athlete in the NIL deals is Paige Bueckers, a superstar point guard on the UConn women’s basketball team who was the national player of the year in her freshman season. Christopher Keating, Hartford Courant, 28 Apr. 2022 Maybe the only athlete in Vikings history that rivaled Williams in terms of star power, Mariani said, was former quarterback Neil Lomax. oregonlive, 20 Apr. 2022 An area athlete is in the state’s top five in every field event. cleveland, 14 Apr. 2022 For example, the athlete and icon Serena Williams has been part of campaigns that project breaking barriers, pushing through glass ceilings and being authentic. Tolulope Adedeji, Forbes, 15 Mar. 2022 When the world ground to a halt in early 2020, the athlete was in the midst of her season. Glamour, 5 Mar. 2022 He was positioned to be a Mexican American Magic Johnson, a beloved Los Angeles athlete who in retirement became a respected entrepreneur. Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2022 In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Booker was asked whether his life in the spotlight as an athlete and as Jenner's boyfriend is hard. Nasha Smith,, 14 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of athlete

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for athlete

Middle English, from Latin athleta, from Greek athlētēs, from athlein to contend for a prize, from athlon prize, contest

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

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athlete's foot

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Statistics for athlete

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Athlete.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for athlete


ath·​lete | \ ˈath-ˌlēt How to pronounce athlete (audio) \

Kids Definition of athlete

: a person who is trained in or good at games and exercises that require physical skill, endurance, and strength

More from Merriam-Webster on athlete

Nglish: Translation of athlete for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of athlete for Arabic Speakers


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