[spawrts-muh n, spohrts-]

noun, plural sports·men.

a man who engages in sports, especially in some open-air sport, as hunting, fishing, racing, etc.
a person who exhibits qualities especially esteemed in those who engage in sports, as fairness, courtesy, good temper, etc.

Origin of sportsman

First recorded in 1700–10; sports + -man
Related formssports·man·like, sports·man·ly, adjectivesports·man·li·ness, nounun·sports·man·like, adjectiveun·sports·man·ly, adjective, adverb

Usage note

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

Related Words for sportsmanlike

clean, fair, forthright, good, honest, honorable, sincere, sporting

Examples from the Web for sportsmanlike

Historical Examples of sportsmanlike

  • All right and sportsmanlike,' said his lordship, with a knowing wink, and walked on.

    Arthur O'Leary

    Charles James Lever

  • But the methods of the sportsmanlike criminal of our day are very different.

  • Let all that you secure be done according to rule, and in a sportsmanlike manner.

    Dog Breaking

    William Nelson Hutchinson

  • Now the German, as has recently been shown, is neither dramatic nor sportsmanlike.

  • The Texas men were not over-popular in Arizona, and yet it was a sportsmanlike crowd.

British Dictionary definitions for sportsmanlike


noun plural -men

a man who takes part in sports, esp of the outdoor type
a person who exhibits qualities highly regarded in sport, such as fairness, generosity, observance of the rules, and good humour when losing
Derived Formssportsman-like or sportsmanly, adjectivesportsmanship, noun
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 sportsmanlike



1706, from sports + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper