See more synonyms for athletics on
  1. (usually used with a plural verb) athletic sports, as running, rowing, or boxing.
  2. British. track-and-field events.
  3. (usually used with a singular verb) the practice of athletic exercises; the principles of athletic training.

Origin of athletics

First recorded in 1595–1605; see origin at athletic, -ics

Pronunciation note

See athlete. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for athletics

recreation, contest, workout, practice, drill, races, games, events

Examples from the Web for athletics

Contemporary Examples of athletics

Historical Examples of athletics

British Dictionary definitions for athletics


noun (functioning as plural or singular)
    1. track and field events
    2. (as modifier)an athletics meeting
  1. sports or exercises engaged in by athletes
  2. the theory or practice of athletic activities and training
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

Word Origin and History for athletics

c.1730, from athletic; also see -ics. Probably formed on model of gymnastics.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper