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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 sportsmanlike
Historical Examples
  • The display of sportsmanlike qualities was not particularly tempting on this occasion.

    The Blonde Lady Maurice Leblanc
  • He told me afterwards that he did not consider it sportsmanlike.

    Allan Quatermain H. Rider Haggard
  • He felt that there was something wrong about that crusade, and he had a sportsmanlike craving to see it for himself.

  • Bear-shooting from the berloga was too easy to be sportsmanlike.

  • But the methods of the sportsmanlike criminal of our day are very different.

  • It was crediting me with a sportsmanlike reluctance to steal a march on my friends.

    Aliens William McFee
  • So far as sportsmanlike fairness is concerned, that method was not one whit more elevated than killing game by poison.

  • This would have been sportsmanlike, but no, Dr. Carpenter firmly ignored them!

  • I suppose to this day he has never forgiven himself for that sportsmanlike instinct.

  • How to get him, by some sportsmanlike process, is the question.

    Fishing with a Worm Bliss Perry
British Dictionary definitions for sportsmanlike


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 sportsmanlike



1706, from sports + man (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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