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90s Slang You Should Know


[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 sportsmen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I trust, sir,” the Marquis replied stiffly, “that they will behave like sportsmen and see the humour of the transaction.

    Jacob's Ladder E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • Men have to be sportsmen because they can't all be either naturalists or poets.

    Laurus Nobilis Vernon Lee
  • European sportsmen, however, often find the hanuman very useful.

  • You are not aware, then, that you are playing with sportsmen?

    The Quadroon Mayne Reid
  • African sportsmen found this out experimentally long before the idea occurred to artillerists.

    The Art of Travel Francis Galton
  • Both were sportsmen, and they often went out shooting together.

British Dictionary definitions for sportsmen


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 sportsmen



1706, from sports + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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