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[spawrts-muh n, spohrts-] /ˈspɔrts mən, ˈspoʊrts-/
noun, plural sportsmen.
a man who engages in sports, especially in some open-air sport, as hunting, fishing, racing, etc.
a person who exhibits qualities especially esteemed in those who engage in sports, as fairness, courtesy, good temper, etc.
Origin of sportsman
First recorded in 1700-10; sports + -man
Related forms
sportsmanlike, sportsmanly, adjective
sportsmanliness, noun
unsportsmanlike, adjective
unsportsmanly, adjective, adverb
Usage note
See -man. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sportsmanlike
Historical Examples
  • All right and sportsmanlike,' said his lordship, with a knowing wink, and walked on.

    Arthur O'Leary Charles James Lever
  • But the methods of the sportsmanlike criminal of our day are very different.

  • Let all that you secure be done according to rule, and in a sportsmanlike manner.

    Dog Breaking William Nelson Hutchinson
  • Now the German, as has recently been shown, is neither dramatic nor sportsmanlike.

    Speaking of Prussians Irvin S. Cobb
  • The Texas men were not over-popular in Arizona, and yet it was a sportsmanlike crowd.

  • He told me afterwards that he did not consider it sportsmanlike.

    Allan Quatermain H. Rider Haggard
  • Bear-shooting from the berloga was too easy to be sportsmanlike.

  • It was crediting me with a sportsmanlike reluctance to steal a march on my friends.

    Aliens William McFee
  • No questions will be asked, and his conduct will be regarded as most sportsmanlike.

    Hard Pressed Fred M. White
  • This would have been sportsmanlike, but no, Dr. Carpenter firmly ignored them!

British Dictionary definitions for sportsmanlike


noun (pl) -men
a man who takes part in sports, esp of the outdoor type
a person who exhibits qualities highly regarded in sport, such as fairness, generosity, observance of the rules, and good humour when losing
Derived Forms
sportsman-like, sportsmanly, adjective
sportsmanship, 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 sportsmanlike



1706, from sports + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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