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[ath-let-iks] /æθˈlɛt ɪks/
(usually used with a plural verb) athletic sports, as running, rowing, or boxing.
British. track-and-field events.
(usually used with a singular verb) the practice of athletic exercises; the principles of athletic training.
Origin of athletics
1595-1605; see athletic, -ics
Pronunciation note
See athlete. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for athletics
  • Moreover, to mis-estimate athletics is equally bad whether their importance is magnified or minimized.
  • Similar examples of peculiar rituals and regimented routines in athletics abound.
  • Gene therapy, say a host of researchers, three of whom call for more oversight of the technique's use in athletics.
  • It has led press coverage of health concerns in all levels of athletics.
  • Many regard amateur athletics as more pure than professional athletics, though obviously this can be argued both ways.
  • Already we're seeing athletics tainted by medications that can improve performance while imposing nasty side effects.
  • For now, the main risk has to the potential for cheating in athletics tournaments.
  • But according to a common criticism of modern sport, these same developments have destroyed the value of athletics.
  • For intercollegiate athletics, he offers a beguiling defense.
  • The game itself was hardly a display of stellar athletics.
British Dictionary definitions for athletics


noun (functioning as pl or singular)
  1. track and field events
  2. (as modifier): an athletics meeting
sports or exercises engaged in by athletes
the theory or practice of athletic activities and training
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
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Word Origin and History for athletics

c.1730, from athletic; also see -ics. Probably formed on model of gymnastics.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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