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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for decathlon



an athletic contest for men in which each athlete competes in ten different eventsCompare pentathlon
Derived Formsdecathlete, noun

Word Origin for decathlon

C20: from deca- + Greek athlon contest, prize; see athlete
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 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