[spawrt, spohrt]
See more synonyms for sport on
  1. an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.
  2. a particular form of this, especially in the out of doors.
  3. sports, (used with a singular verb) such athletic activities collectively: Sports is important in my life.
  4. diversion; recreation; pleasant pastime.
  5. jest; fun; mirth; pleasantry: What he said in sport was taken seriously.
  6. mockery; ridicule; derision: They made sport of him.
  7. an object of derision; laughingstock.
  8. something treated lightly or tossed about like a plaything.
  9. something or someone subject to the whims or vicissitudes of fate, circumstances, etc.
  10. a sportsman.
  11. Informal. a person who behaves in a sportsmanlike, fair, or admirable manner; an accommodating person: He was a sport and took his defeat well.
  12. Informal. a person who is interested in sports as an occasion for gambling; gambler.
  13. Informal. a flashy person; one who wears showy clothes, affects smart manners, pursues pleasurable pastimes, or the like; a bon vivant.
  14. Biology. an organism or part that shows an unusual or singular deviation from the normal or parent type; mutation.
  15. Obsolete. amorous dalliance.
adjective Also sports.
  1. of, relating to, or used in sports or a particular sport:sport fishing.
  2. suitable for outdoor or informal wear: sport clothes.
verb (used without object)
  1. to amuse oneself with some pleasant pastime or recreation.
  2. to play, frolic, or gambol, as a child or an animal.
  3. to engage in some open-air or athletic pastime or sport.
  4. to trifle or treat lightly: to sport with another's emotions.
  5. to mock, scoff, or tease: to sport at suburban life.
  6. Botany. to mutate.
verb (used with object)
  1. to pass (time) in amusement or sport.
  2. to spend or squander lightly or recklessly (often followed by away).
  3. Informal. to wear, display, carry, etc., especially with ostentation; show off: to sport a new mink coat.
  4. Archaic. to amuse (especially oneself).
  1. sport one's oak. oak(def 5).

Origin of sport

1350–1400; Middle English; aphetic variant of disport
Related formssport·ful, adjectivesport·ful·ly, adverbsport·ful·ness, nounsport·less, adjectiveout·sport, verb (used with object)un·sport·ed, adjectiveun·sport·ful, adjective

Synonyms for sport

See more synonyms for on
1. game. 4. amusement, fun, entertainment. See play. 19. romp, caper. 21. toy. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for sport

Contemporary Examples of sport

Historical Examples of sport

  • I never saw a girl of her age bid fairer to be the sport of mankind.

    Lady Susan

    Jane Austen

  • If you are really out just for sport and curiosity, I'm sorry for you.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White

  • My brother Digby has no sport in him, and he is much bigger than me, besides.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • He had fished all his life—had Good Indian—and had found joy in the sport.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • But this ordeal combat was far removed from the domain of sport.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

British Dictionary definitions for sport


  1. an individual or group activity pursued for exercise or pleasure, often involving the testing of physical capabilities and taking the form of a competitive game such as football, tennis, etc
  2. such activities considered collectively
  3. any particular pastime indulged in for pleasure
  4. the pleasure derived from a pastime, esp hunting, shooting, or fishingwe had good sport today
  5. playful or good-humoured jokingto say a thing in sport
  6. derisive mockery or the object of such mockeryto make sport of someone
  7. someone or something that is controlled by external influencesthe sport of fate
  8. informal (sometimes qualified by good, bad, etc) a person who reacts cheerfully in the face of adversity, esp a good loser
  9. informal a person noted for being scrupulously fair and abiding by the rules of a game
  10. informal a person who leads a merry existence, esp a gamblerhe's a bit of a sport
  11. Australian and NZ informal a form of address used esp between males
  12. biology
    1. an animal or plant that differs conspicuously in one or more aspects from other organisms of the same species, usually because of a mutation
    2. an anomalous characteristic of such an organism
  1. (tr) informal to wear or display in an ostentatious or proud mannershe was sporting a new hat
  2. (intr) to skip about or frolic happily
  3. to amuse (oneself), esp in outdoor physical recreation
  4. (intr often foll by with) to dally or trifle (with)
  5. (tr often foll by away) rare to squander (time or money)sporting one's life away
  6. (intr often foll by with) archaic to make fun (of)
  7. (intr) biology to produce or undergo a mutation
See also sports
Derived Formssporter, nounsportful, adjectivesportfully, adverbsportfulness, noun

Word Origin for sport

C15 sporten, variant of disporten to disport
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 sport

c.1400, "to take pleasure, to amuse oneself," from Anglo-French disport, Old French desport "pastime, recreation, pleasure," from desporter "to divert, amuse, please, play" (see disport). Sense of "to amuse oneself by active exercise in open air or taking part in some game" is from late 15c. Meaning "to wear" is from 1778. Related: Sported; sporting.


mid-15c., "pleasant pastime," from sport (v.). Meaning "game involving physical exercise" first recorded 1520s. Original sense preserved in phrases such as in sport "in jest" (mid-15c.). Sense of "stylish man" is from 1861, American English, probably because they lived by gambling and betting on races. Meaning "good fellow" is attested from 1881 (e.g. be a sport, 1913). Sport as a familiar form of address to a man is from 1935, Australian English. The sport of kings was originally (1660s) war-making.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper