View synonyms for gymnastics


[ jim-nas-tiks ]


  1. (used with a plural verb) gymnastic exercises.
  2. (used with a singular verb) the practice art, or competitive sport of gymnastic exercises.
  3. (used with a plural verb) mental feats or other exercises of skill:

    Verbal gymnastics.


/ dʒɪmˈnæstɪks /


  1. functioning as singular practice or training in exercises that develop physical strength and agility or mental capacity
  2. functioning as plural gymnastic exercises

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Word History and Origins

Origin of gymnastics1

First recorded in 1645–55; gymnastic, -ics

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Compare Meanings

How does gymnastics compare to similar and commonly confused words? Explore the most common comparisons:

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Example Sentences

Habits die hard, and at the pool and gymnastics venues, journalists clumped together as they always had to ask questions and snag quotes when athletes stopped by.

From Time

It was a dramatic way to begin and end the gymnastics competition at the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.

From Time

Also, Olympic gymnastics competitions are rarely shown live on network TV.

Percolating under the surface of the happy medals ceremonies for the event finals, however, is a growing movement within the gymnastics community about rules that prevent gymnasts from warming up on the equipment minutes before they compete.

From Time

There are a lot of opinions being shared about Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from the recent gymnastics team final and individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Games to put her mental health and well-being first.

She first chats about doing gymnastics, track, and soccer in high school while managing the wrestling team.

The legal gymnastics necessary to create such impenetrable networks is a testament to the ingenuity of well-paid attorneys.

No verbal gymnastics like Lennon, not even a joke—just one flat line, so mumbled and understated as to be almost non-existent.

It was that spectacular and it went on for an hour or two… a mass display of gymnastics and dancing and tumbling.

However, its only teams to win gold were in gymnastics and fencing, both intensely solo sports.

You have even gone so far as to insist upon my practising gymnastics a little.

He got through without difficulty; for he knew the entrance well, and was master of these gymnastics in the sea.

It was equally an interesting plaything and a source of mental gymnastics.

Mathematics may be called narrow, but no one can have sound intellectual culture without these mental gymnastics.

It exercised the intellect and strengthened it, as gymnastics do the body, without enlarging it.


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More About Gymnastics

What does gymnastics mean?

Gymnastics is a sport involving tests and demonstrations of balance, strength, and agility through physical exercises, many of which are performed using special equipment.

Skills performed in gymnastics include rhythmic dance, feats of strength and balance, and highly athletic and artistic body movements, such as vaults, flips, twists, and other aerial maneuvers.

The gymnastics events at the Summer Olympic Games are widely considered to feature the highest level of international competition. They consist of three separate competitions: artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and trampoline gymnastics.

The most well-known form of gymnastics is artistic gymnastics, and this is the sport that’s most often simply referred to as gymnastics. It includes several different competitive events, including floor exercise, vault, parallel bars, uneven bars, horizontal bar, balance beam, rings, and pommel horse

Rhythmic gymnastics involves dancelike movements while handling objects such as balls, hoops, and ribbons. Trampoline gymnastics involves performing acrobatics with the aid of a trampoline.

Athletes who compete in the sport of gymnastics are called gymnasts.

The word gymnastics is also sometimes used in a figurative way to refer to the exercise of skill in some (usually difficult) task or action, as in I bet that took quite a bit of mental gymnastics. 

Example: In the history of gymnastics, there has never been another gymnast quite like Simone Biles.

Where does gymnastics come from?

The first records of the word gymnastics come from the mid-1600s. It comes from the Greek gymnastikós, which derived from the Greek verb gymnázein, “to exercise naked,” from gumnos, meaning “naked.” The word gymnasium and its short form, gym, are based on the same root.

The sport of gymnastics evolved from athletic practices from different cultures. The ancient Greek Olympic Games featured competitions that resemble some of today’s gymnastics events. Much of early gymnastics was based on the form of tumbling—acrobatic movements like somersaults—practiced by entertainers. Modern gymnastics is traced in part to German Philanthropinums, schools where physical training involved tumbling, vaulting, and similar forms of exercise.

Gymnastics competitions were featured at the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, and Olympic gymnastics competition was opened to women 1928. Today, the artistic gymnastics competition is one of the most well-known and watched events in the Summer Olympics, especially the women’s events.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to gymnastics?

What are some synonyms for gymnastics?

  • artistic gymnastics

What are some words that share a root or word element with gymnastics

What are some words that often get used in discussing gymnastics?

How is gymnastics used in real life?

There are many forms of gymnastics, but the most well-known form is sometimes called artistic gymnastics. Gymnastics is associated with extreme skill in balance, strength, and agility.

Try using gymnastics!

Which of the following events is part of the artistic gymnastics competition in the Olympics?

A. vault
B. floor exercise
C. balance beam
D. all of the above

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