- an athletic contest comprising ten different track-and-field events and won by the contestant amassing the highest total score.
Origin of decathlon
1910–15; dec- + Greek âthlon prize, contest
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for decathlon
"I did ask Ashton Eaton to come out," the driver of USA-1 said of the 2012 Olympic decathlon gold medalist, who declined.Is It Really That Easy to be an Olympic Bobsledder?
January 17, 2014
Dylan Bright died too young to compete in the Decathlon of Flourishing.What Harvard’s Grant Study Reveals about Happiness and Life
November 7, 2012
One example among several: his time in the decathlon 1,500-meter run—4 minutes 40.1 seconds—was not beaten until the 1972 Games.The Most Wonderful Athlete in the World: Jim Thorpe’s Story
August 5, 2012
There were five events in the Pentathlon and ten in the Decathlon.Injun and Whitey to the Rescue
William S. Hart
- an athletic contest for men in which each athlete competes in ten different eventsCompare pentathlon
C20: from deca- + Greek athlon contest, prize; see athlete
Word Origin and History for decathlon
1912, from deca "ten" (see ten) + Greek athlon "contest, prize," of uncertain origin. A modern Olympic event consisting of 10 challenges.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper