Meaning of athlete in English:


Pronunciation /ˈaθliːt/

See synonyms for athlete

Translate athlete into Spanish


  • 1A person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.

    ‘he had the broad-shouldered build of a natural athlete’
    • ‘Big money comes more quickly for athletes in other sports than it does in boxing.’
    • ‘I have noticed in the last year or two a drop-off in the number of young athletes coming into the sport.’
    • ‘Although not a natural athlete, he could perform amazing physical feats.’
    • ‘Pilates teaches body awareness and is popular among athletes and those with sports injuries.’
    • ‘He said it was hard work, and likened it to being an athlete, as exercises in breathing must be done daily.’
    • ‘They seemed to be natural athletes, and no wonder they dominated the game at that time.’
    • ‘He likes his players to be athletes and is always telling us what to eat and drink.’
    • ‘How are we ever going to produce top-class athletes if we leave it to children to take up sports themselves.’
    • ‘At school, Eisenhower proved to be a star athlete, excelling in both baseball and American football.’
    • ‘He was brought up in Trowbridge and was a talented athlete and sportsman at school.’
    • ‘The aim is not to make the athletes comfortable but to make them champions.’
    • ‘There is a clear division on campus between athletes and those who have no interest in sport.’
    • ‘One of the great things about sport is that it teaches athletes to be persistent and never to give up.’
    • ‘The athletes in some of these cities actually got free meals for the rest of their life.’
    • ‘Most of this money now finds its way into the pockets of players and athletes.’
    • ‘I think this is probably not so much about the athletes as it is about us as a society.’
    • ‘He now stands as one of the most recognized names in the judo world as both an athlete and a coach.’
    • ‘When such a ban is imposed on the athlete, the coach also receives the same punishment.’
    • ‘Some of us go to watch professional athletes play at the highest level of sport.’
    • ‘These are finely tuned athletes who play hard and are extremely proud of what they do.’
    • ‘He holds the record for the most medals ever won by an athlete in a single Olympic Games.’
    sportswoman, sportsman, sportsperson
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1British A person who takes part in competitive track and field events (athletics).
      ‘Any halfway competitive track athlete ought to be able to cover that in 20 seconds, tops.’
      • ‘Many local athletes competed in the North East's leading open meeting of the season.’
      • ‘Have a good week at work and best of luck to our athletes in the track and field events today!’
      • ‘Keogh beamed as she entered the stadium and finished her race as the lone athlete on the track.’
      • ‘To the layman, track and field athletes seem to be injured much more frequently than other sportsmen.’
      • ‘I'm really looking forward to competing against other athletes from all over the country.’
      • ‘Secondly, a bunch of athletes started sprinting round the perimeter race track.’
      • ‘Sport is about competing to see who is the best, and athletes have to train hard to reach the top.’
      • ‘Holmes set a new British record and ended up as the only Team GB athlete to claim individual track and field gold.’
      • ‘She showed that she has a very bright future as a field event athlete.’
      • ‘Chris Brogan was the only wheelchair athlete to complete the Olympic triathlon distance.’
      • ‘An athlete testing positive at a major event can continue to compete until a B-sample confirms the finding.’
      • ‘The heats of the 400m hurdles should not trouble an athlete of his calibre.’
      • ‘The track season is now in full swing and already Sligo athletes are shaping up very well.’
      • ‘It was a senior competition and she raced ahead of seasoned athletes to surprise and win.’
      • ‘With every athlete sprinting for the line, Hannah finished in 15th place to help her team to victory.’
      • ‘No Chinese athlete had ever won a gold medal in an Olympics track sprint event.’
      • ‘On a sprint day, each athlete races against the clock to gain a qualifying time on the course.’
      • ‘It is also a chance for young athletes who have qualified for community games finals to have a run.’
      • ‘They don't have to be an Olympic rower or an Olympic athlete to be able to do the sport.’


Late Middle English from Latin athleta, from Greek athlētēs, from athlein ‘compete for a prize’, from athlon ‘prize’.