- a foot race over a course measuring 26 mi. 385 yards (42 km 195 meters).
- any long-distance race.
- any contest, event, or the like, of great, or greater than normal, length or duration or requiring exceptional endurance: a dance marathon; a sales marathon.
Origin of marathon
- a plain in SE Greece, in Attica: the Athenians defeated the Persians here 490 b.c.
- an ancient village that is near this plain.
- Classical Mythology. a son of Epopeus and the father of Corinthus.
Examples from the Web for marathon
Portlandia marathon—9 am-2:30 pm, IFCBecause what better time than Turkey Day to put on a bird on it?
Thanksgiving with Friends marathon—10 am—TBSA marathon of every Thanksgiving episode of Friends.
It would be like making a decision about whether or not to keep exercising at mile 24 of a marathon.Jon Stewart Talks ‘Rosewater’ and the ‘Chickensh-t’ Democrats’ Midterm Massacre
November 9, 2014
More probable are smaller attacks like the Boston marathon bombing.Why’s Al Qaeda So Strong? Washington Has (Literally) No idea
November 9, 2014
The subject of a dozen-odd panels, commissions, marathon negotiating sessions?The Battle of the Deficit Bulge Has Been Won
October 6, 2014
I feel like a two-year-old: I could do a Marathon without turning a hair.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
Find out why a long distance run is now called a "Marathon."
How long after the battle of Marathon, and after the death of Alexander the Great?
They knew that these were intended to avenge the defeat of Marathon.Laws
I've never heard a word from you since the day we ran the Marathon.Still Jim
Honor Willsie Morrow
- a race on foot of 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 kilometres): an event in the modern Olympics
- any long or arduous task, assignment, etc
- (as modifier)a marathon effort
- a plain in Attica northeast of Athens: site of a victory of the Athenians and Plataeans over the Persians (490 bc)
Word Origin and History for marathon
1896, marathon race, from story of Greek hero Pheidippides, who in 490 B.C.E. ran the 26 miles and 385 yards to Athens from the Plains of Marathon to tell of the allied Greek victory there over Persian army. The original story (Herodotus) is that he ran from Athens to Sparta to seek aid, which arrived too late to participate in the battle. Introduced as an athletic event in the 1896 revival of the Olympic Games, based on a later, less likely story, and quickly extended to mean "any very long event or activity." Related: Marathoner (by 1912).