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[spawrts-muh n, spohrts-] /ˈspɔrts mən, ˈspoʊrts-/
noun, plural sportsmen.
a man who engages in sports, especially in some open-air sport, as hunting, fishing, racing, etc.
a person who exhibits qualities especially esteemed in those who engage in sports, as fairness, courtesy, good temper, etc.
Origin of sportsman
1700-10; sports + -man
Related forms
sportsmanlike, sportsmanly, adjective
sportsmanliness, noun
unsportsmanlike, adjective
unsportsmanly, adjective, adverb
Usage note
See -man. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for sportsman
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • How it is that the British sportsman has become the dupe of certain men who set themselves up for reputable gunmakers I know not.

    Gunnery in 1858 William Greener
  • He was by no means what is termed a sportsman, yet he was somewhat fond of shooting.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • On such occasions he was generally accompanied by Dicky Duff, who had become as good a sportsman as himself.

    In New Granada W.H.G. Kingston
  • The scholar in him had completely got the better of the sportsman.

  • Then the starost paid a long visit to Yegor, the ochotnik (sportsman) of the village, and made certain arrangements.

    The Romance of the Woods F. J. Whishaw
British Dictionary definitions for sportsman


noun (pl) -men
a man who takes part in sports, esp of the outdoor type
a person who exhibits qualities highly regarded in sport, such as fairness, generosity, observance of the rules, and good humour when losing
Derived Forms
sportsman-like, sportsmanly, adjective
sportsmanship, noun
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 sportsman

1706, from sports + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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