a suffix extracted from marathon, occurring as the final element in compounds which have the general sense “an event, as a sale or contest, drawn out to unusual length, often until a prearranged goal, as the contribution of a certain amount of money, is reached”: walkathon; readathon.

Nearby words

  1. -ass,
  2. -ast,
  3. -aster,
  4. -ata,
  5. -ate,
  6. -atic,
  7. -ation,
  8. -ative,
  9. -ator,
  10. -atory

Also -a-thon, -thon.

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

Examples from the Web for thon

British Dictionary definitions for thon


/ (ðɒn) /


a Scot word for yon

Word Origin for thon

C19: of uncertain origin

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 thon


also -thon, word-forming element denoting prolonged activity and usually some measure of endurance, abstracted from marathon. E.g. walkathon (1931), skatathon (1933); talkathon (1948); telethon (1949).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper