Definition of athlete in English:


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 is skilled 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.’



/ˈaTH(ə)ˌlēt/ /ˈæθ(ə)ˌlit/


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