a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.

1520–30; < Latin āthlēta < Greek āthlētḗs, equivalent to āthlē- (variant stem of āthleîn to contend for a prize, derivative of âthlos a contest) + -tēs suffix of agency

nonathlete, noun
superathlete, noun

Athlete, athletic, and athletics, normally pronounced [ath-leet] [ath-let-ik] and [ath-let-iks] are heard frequently with an epenthetic schwa, an intrusive unstressed vowel inserted between the first and second syllables: [ath-uh-leet] [ath-uh-let-ik] and [ath-uh-let-iks]. The pronunciations containing the extra syllable are usually considered nonstandard, in spite of their widespread use on radio and television. Pronunciations with similarly intrusive vowels are also heard, though with less currency, for other words, as [fil-uhm] for film, [el-uhm] for elm, and [ahr-thuh-rahy-tis] for arthritis, rather than the standard [film] [elm] and [ahr-thrahy-tis]. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To athlete
World English Dictionary
athlete (ˈæθliːt)
1.  a person trained to compete in sports or exercises involving physical strength, speed, or endurance
2.  a person who has a natural aptitude for physical activities
3.  chiefly (Brit) a competitor in track and field events
[C18: from Latin via Greek athlētēs, from athlein to compete for a prize, from athlos a contest]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1520s, from L. athleta, from Gk. athletes "contestant in the games," agent noun from athlein "to contest for a prize," rel. to athlos "a contest" and athlon "a prize," of unknown origin. Before 1750, always in L. form. In this sense, O.E. had plegmann. Athlete's foot first recorded 1928, for an ailment
that has been around much longer.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Our ultra light sports pack for the quick footed athlete.
These methods are not only an inefficient way for an athlete to cool down, but
  they can actually be quite dangerous.
At some universities, endowment per athlete exceeds over-all endowment per
But in the past decade, the labour market has resembled an ageing athlete.
Images for athlete
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature