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[uh-lim-pee-ad, oh-lim-] /əˈlɪm piˌæd, oʊˈlɪm-/
noun, (often lowercase)
a period of four years reckoned from one celebration of the Olympic Games to the next, by which the Greeks computed time from 776 b.c.
a celebration of the modern Olympic Games.
Origin of Olympiad
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin Olympiad-, stem of Olympias < Greek Olympiás noun use of the adj.: of Olympus. See Olympia, -ad1
Related forms
Olympiadic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for Olympiad


a staging of the modern Olympic Games
the four-year period between consecutive celebrations of the Olympic Games; a unit of ancient Greek chronology dating back to 776 bc
an international contest in chess, bridge, etc
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 Olympiad

late 14c., "period of four years" (between Olympic games), from Old French olimpiade "period of four years," from Latin Olympiadem, from Greek olympiados, genitive of Olympias (see Olympic). Used by ancient Greeks as a unit in computing time. Revived in modern usage with revival of the games, 1896.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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