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[too r-nuh-muh nt, tur-] /ˈtʊər nə mənt, ˈtɜr-/
a trial of skill in some game, in which competitors play a series of contests:
a chess tournament.
a meeting for contests in a variety of sports, as between teams of different nations.
  1. a contest or martial sport in which two opposing parties of mounted and armored combatants fought for a prize, with blunted weapons and in accordance with certain rules.
  2. a meeting at an appointed time and place for the performance of knightly exercises and sports.
Origin of tournament
1175-1225; Middle English tornement < Old French torneiement, equivalent to torne(ier) to tourney + -ment -ment
Related forms
pretournament, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tournament
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • On the next day the author of the threats was mortally wounded in the tournament.

  • They are the only one we allow to play the tournament games with outside teams.

    Hester's Counterpart Jean K. Baird
  • It was Lancelot after the tournament, Bayard receiving felicitations after the battle.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
  • You get me to go to another Firemen's tournament and you'll know it.

    Back Home Eugene Wood
  • On the morning when the jousts began the first that was called was the tournament of youth.

    Tales from Tennyson Molly K. Bellew
British Dictionary definitions for tournament


/ˈtʊənəmənt; ˈtɔː-; ˈtɜː-/
a sporting competition in which contestants play a series of games to determine an overall winner
a meeting for athletic or other sporting contestants: an archery tournament
(medieval history)
  1. (originally) a martial sport or contest in which mounted combatants fought for a prize
  2. (later) a meeting for knightly sports and exercises
Word Origin
C13: from Old French torneiement, from torneier to fight on horseback, literally: to turn, from the constant wheeling round of the combatants; see tourney
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 tournament

c.1300, "medieval martial arts contest," from Old French torneiement "contest between groups of knights on horseback" (mid-12c.), from torneier "to joust, tilt" (see tourney). Modern use, in reference to games of skill, is recorded from 1761.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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