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[ath-let-ik] /æθˈlɛt ɪk/
physically active and strong; good at athletics or sports:
an athletic child.
of, like, or befitting an athlete.
of or relating to athletes; involving the use of physical skills or capabilities, as strength, agility, or stamina:
athletic sports; athletic training.
for athletics:
an athletic field.
Psychology. (of a physical type) having a sturdy build or well-proportioned body structure.
Compare asthenic (def 2), pyknic (def 1).
Origin of athletic
1595-1605; < Latin āthlēticus < Greek āthlētikós. See athlete, -ic
Related forms
athletically, adverb
[ath-let-uh-siz-uh m] /æθˈlɛt əˌsɪz əm/ (Show IPA),
nonathletic, adjective
nonathletically, adverb
quasi-athletic, adjective
quasi-athletically, adverb
unathletic, adjective
unathletically, adverb
Pronunciation note
See athlete. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for athletically
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "The Cenci" is austere; for Shelley, it is athletically economical.

    The Critical Game

    John Albert Macy
  • Nothing could have been finer, athletically considered, than his attitude at this moment of the trader's speculative observation.

    The Frontiersmen

    Charles Egbert Craddock
  • The carefully groomed, athletically muscled younger man in the big wicker lounging-chair laughed easily.

    The Real Man Francis Lynde
  • He was a general favourite, and, though not athletically inclined, was always ready to assist in acting cox or kindred work.

    Two Daring Young Patriots W. P. Shervill
  • Then, of course, there is the young person who is athletically inclined, and insists on wearing sport clothes on all occasions.

    Book of Etiquette, Volume 2 Lillian Eichler Watson
British Dictionary definitions for athletically


physically fit or strong; muscular or active
of, relating to, or suitable for an athlete or for athletics
of or relating to a person with a muscular and well-proportioned body See also somatotype
Derived Forms
athletically, adverb
athleticism, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for athletically



1630s (athletical is from 1590s), "pertaining to an athlete," from Latin athleticus, from Greek athletikos, from athletes (see athlete). Meaning "strong of body; vigorous; lusty; robust" [Johnson, who spells it athletick] is from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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