[toor-nuh-muhnt, tur-]
a trial of skill in some game, in which competitors play a series of contests: a chess tournament.
a meeting for contests in a variety of sports, as between teams of different nations.
a contest or martial sport in which two opposing parties of mounted and armored combatants fought for a prize, with blunted weapons and in accordance with certain rules.
a meeting at an appointed time and place for the performance of knightly exercises and sports.

1175–1225; Middle English tornement < Old French torneiement, equivalent to torne(ier) to tourney + -ment -ment

pretournament, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tournament (ˈtʊənəmənt, ˈtɔː-, ˈtɜː-)
1.  a sporting competition in which contestants play a series of games to determine an overall winner
2.  a meeting for athletic or other sporting contestants: an archery tournament
3.  medieval history
 a.  (originally) a martial sport or contest in which mounted combatants fought for a prize
 b.  (later) a meeting for knightly sports and exercises
[C13: from Old French torneiement, from torneier to fight on horseback, literally: to turn, from the constant wheeling round of the combatants; see tourney]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, "medieval martial arts contest," from O.Fr. torneiement "contest between groups of knights on horseback" (c.1150), from torneier "to joust, tilt" (see tourney). Modern use, in ref. to games of skill, is recorded from 1761.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Tournament hoops time, combined with one week of break.
About three weeks before each big tournament he would enter a bubble of
  concentration that muffled even the crowd's applause.
Or even at your low-geared, single-speed polo bike tournament.
Yea, the likelihood for this play to be a gamble could be higher than in the
  case of the tournament.
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