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n. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
1. Activities, such as sports, exercises, and games, that require physical skill and stamina.
2. The principles or system of training and practice for such activities.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n (functioning as plural or singular)
1. (Athletics (Track & Field))
a. track and field events
b. (as modifier): an athletics meeting.
2. (Athletics (Track & Field)) sports or exercises engaged in by athletes
3. (Athletics (Track & Field)) the theory or practice of athletic activities and training
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(æθˈlɛt ɪks)

1. (usu. used with a pl. v.) athletic sports, as running, rowing, or boxing.
2. Brit. track-and-field events.
3. (usu. used with a sing. v.) the practice of athletic exercises; the principles of athletic training.
pron: See athlete.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


a form of physical activity characterized by strenuous exercise of many muscle groups and intended to increase muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness. — aerobic, adj.
one who contends for a prize in public games. — agonistic, agonistical, adj.
the art of athletic combat or contests in public games.
the art and exercise of water sports.
1. an active interest in sports.
2. an obsessive participation in physical activity. — athletic, adj.
the science, art, or practice of bodily exercises intended to promote strength, health, and grace of movement. — calisthenic, calisthenical, adj.
a person who performs gymnastic feats involving distorted postures. — contortionistic, adj.
an athletic contest in which the contestants compete for points awarded for performances in ten different track and field events, the winner being the one with the highest aggregate score. The events include 100-meter, 400-meter, and 1500-meter runs, 110-meter high hurdles, long jump, high jump, pole vault, shot-put, javelin throw, and discus throw. Cf. heptathlon, pentathlon, triathlon.
1. a discus thrower.
2. cap., italics. the famous 5th-century B.C. statue by Myron of a discus thrower.
a gymnast. See also learning.
a person who is involved in or skilled in the art of gymnastics.
1. regimented exercises performed on floor mats and on certain specialized equipment that entail the skills of tumbling and balancing and that are intended to display flexibility, grace, and strength.
2. physical or athletic exercises; calisthenics. — gymnastic, adj.
an athletic competition in which contestants compete for points awarded for performances in seven different track and field events, the winner being the one with the highest aggregate score. The competition, usually for women, consists of 100-meter and 800-meter runs, 100-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump, javelin throw, and shot-put. Cf. decathlon, pentathlon, triathlon.
a form of physical exercise in which a set of muscles is tensed briefly, either in opposition to another set or against a solid surface. Cf. isotonics.isometric, adj.
muscular exercise using free weights or fixed devices to simulate resistance of weight. Cf. isometrics. — isotonic, adj.
Ancient Greece. a race in honor of Prometheus in which the contestants ran bearing lit torches, the winner being the first to finish with his torch still lit. Also called lampadrome, lampadephoria.
a contestant in a lampadedromy. Also called lampadephore, lampadophoros.
the act or art of swimming or floating on water. — natatory,natatorial, adj.
a swimmer.
a swimming pool, particularly an indoor facility.
Ancient Greece. a public place for athletics or wrestling. — palaestric, palestric, adj.
a person skilled in the art of boxing or wrestling. — pancratiastic, adj.
1. Track and Field, an athletic contest in which the contestants compete for points awarded for performances in five different track and field contests, the winner being the one with the highest aggregate score. The events include, for women, an 800-meter run, 100-meter hurdles, high jump, long jump, and shot-put; for men, 200-meter and 1500-meter runs, long jump, javelin throw, and discus throw.
2. Olympic Games. Usually, modern pentathlon an athletic contest in which the contestants compete for points awarded for performances in five events: fencing, horseback riding, pistol shooting, cross-country running, and swimming.
Ancient Rome. public games that took place every five years.
a champion or one who holds a title.
a person who performs feats of tumbling using a trampoline as a springboard. Also trampoliner. — trampoline, n.
an intense aerobic endurance competition, typically, in its longest form, consisting of a 2.4-mile ocean swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon run, the winner being the one to finish all three events in the least time.
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'athletics'

Athletics consists of sports such as running, the high jump, and the javelin.

He has retired from active athletics.

Athletics is an uncount noun. You use a singular form of a verb with it.

Athletics was developing rapidly.

Note that the American term for this is track and field.

She never competed in track and field.
2. 'athletic'

Athletic is an adjective. It can mean 'relating to athletics'.

...athletic trophies.

However, when you use athletic to describe a person, you mean that they are fit, healthy, and active. You do not mean that they take part in athletics.

...athletic young men.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


track and field
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.athletics - an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competitionathletics - an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition
offside - (sport) the mistake of occupying an illegal position on the playing field (in football, soccer, ice hockey, field hockey, etc.)
wipeout - a spill in some sport (as a fall from a bicycle or while skiing or being capsized on a surfboard)
toss, flip, pass - (sports) the act of throwing the ball to another member of your team; "the pass was fumbled"
daisy cutter - a batted or served ball that skims along close to the ground
call - (sports) the decision made by an umpire or referee; "he was ejected for protesting the call"
funambulism, tightrope walking - walking on a tightrope or slack rope
rock climbing - the sport or pastime of scaling rock masses on mountain sides (especially with the help of ropes and special equipment)
birling, logrolling - rotating a log rapidly in the water (as a competitive sport)
diversion, recreation - an activity that diverts or amuses or stimulates; "scuba diving is provided as a diversion for tourists"; "for recreation he wrote poetry and solved crossword puzzles"; "drug abuse is often regarded as a form of recreation"
contact sport - a sport that necessarily involves body contact between opposing players
field sport, outdoor sport - a sport that is played outdoors
gymnastics, gymnastic exercise - a sport that involves exercises intended to display strength and balance and agility
track and field - participating in athletic sports performed on a running track or on the field associated with it
skiing - a sport in which participants must travel on skis
aquatics, water sport - sports that involve bodies of water
rowing, row - the act of rowing as a sport
archery - the sport of shooting arrows with a bow
sledding - the sport of riding on a sled or sleigh
skating - the sport of gliding on skates
racing - the sport of engaging in contests of speed
equitation, horseback riding, riding - the sport of siting on the back of a horse while controlling its movements
cycling - the sport of traveling on a bicycle or motorcycle
blood sport - sport that involves killing animals (especially hunting)
athletic game - a game involving athletic activity
stroke, shot - (sports) the act of swinging or striking at a ball with a club or racket or bat or cue or hand; "it took two strokes to get out of the bunker"; "a good shot requires good balance and tempo"; "he left me an almost impossible shot"
position - (in team sports) the role assigned to an individual player; "what position does he play?"
foul - an act that violates the rules of a sport
personal foul - a foul that involves unnecessarily rough contact (as in basketball or football)
possession - (sport) the act of controlling the ball (or puck); "they took possession of the ball on their own goal line"
judo - a sport adapted from jujitsu (using principles of not resisting) and similar to wrestling; developed in Japan
spectator sport - a sport that many people find entertaining to watch
team sport - a sport that involves competition between teams of players; "baseball is a team sport by golf is not"
save - (sports) the act of preventing the opposition from scoring; "the goalie made a brilliant save"; "the relief pitcher got credit for a save"
press box - box reserved for reporters (as at a sports event)
tuck - (sports) a bodily position adopted in some sports (such as diving or skiing) in which the knees are bent and the thighs are drawn close to the chest
game plan - (sports) a plan for achieving an objective in some sport
won-lost record - (sports) a record of win versus losses
English, side - (sports) the spin given to a ball by striking it on one side or releasing it with a sharp twist
series - (sports) several contests played successively by the same teams; "the visiting team swept the series"
trial - (sports) a preliminary competition to determine qualifications; "the trials for the semifinals began yesterday"
defending team, defence, defense - (sports) the team that is trying to prevent the other team from scoring; "his teams are always good on defense"
bench warmer - (sports) a substitute who seldom plays
coach, manager, handler - (sports) someone in charge of training an athlete or a team
free agent - (sports) a professional athlete who is free to sign a contract to play for any team
iron man, ironman - a strong man of exceptional physical endurance
ref, referee - (sports) the chief official (as in boxing or American football) who is expected to ensure fair play
talent scout, scout - someone employed to discover and recruit talented persons (especially in the worlds of entertainment or sports)
2.athletics - a contest between athletesathletics - a contest between athletes    
contest, competition - an occasion on which a winner is selected from among two or more contestants
decathlon - an athletic contest consisting of ten different events
Olympic Games, Olympics, Olympiad - the modern revival of the ancient games held once every 4 years in a selected country
Special Olympics - an athletic contest modeled after the Olympic Games but intended for mentally or physically handicapped persons
prelim, preliminary - a minor match preceding the main event
pentathlon - an athletic contest consisting of five different events
meet, sports meeting - a meeting at which a number of athletic contests are held
hop-step-and-jump, triple jump - an athletic contest in which a competitor must perform successively a hop and a step and a jump in continuous movement
tug-of-war - a contest in which teams pull of opposite ends of a rope; the team dragged across a central line loses
3.athletics - participation in sports events as an extracurricular activityathletics - participation in sports events as an extracurricular activity
extracurricular activity - educational activities not falling within the scope of the regular curriculum
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
أَلْعاب الرِّياضِيَّةألْعاب رِياضِيَّه
운동 경기
điền kinh


A. NSING (Brit) → atletismo m (US) → deportes mpl
B. CPD athletics coach Nentrenador(a) m/f de atletismo
athletics competition Ncompetición f atlética
athletics meeting Ncompetición f atlética, prueba f atlética
athletics track Npista f de atletismo
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[æθˈlɛtɪks] nathlétisme m
I like watching the athletics on TV → J'aime bien regarder l'athlétisme à la télé.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n sing or plLeichtathletik f; athletics meetingLeichtathletikwettkampf m; athletics coachLeichtathletiktrainer(in) m(f); sexual athleticsSexualakrobatik f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[æθˈlɛtɪks] nsgatletica
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈӕθliːt) noun
a person who is good at sport, especially running, jumping etc. Hundreds of athletes took part in the games.
athˈletic (-ˈle-) adjective
1. of athletics. He is taking part in the athletic events.
2. good at athletics; strong and able to move easily and quickly. He looks very athletic.
athˈletics (-ˈle-) noun singular
the sports of running, jumping etc or competitions in these. Athletics was my favourite activity at school.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


أَلْعاب الرِّياضِيَّة atletika atletik Leichtathletik αθλητισμός atletismo yleisurheilu athlétisme atletika atletica 陸上競技 운동 경기 atletiek sport lekka atletyka atletismo легкая атлетика friidrott การเล่นกีฬาทั้งทางลู่และลาน atletizm điền kinh 运动
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
You see, until these School Pills were invented we wasted a lot of time in study that may now be better employed in practicing athletics."
"That," replied the Wizard, "is the Royal Athletic College of Oz, which is directed by Professor H.
"I thought it was an Athletic College," said the Shaggy Man.
And, indeed, should the excellent Mr Broughton be prevailed on to set fist to paper, and to complete the above-said rudiments, by delivering down the true principles of athletics, I question whether the world will have any cause to lament, that none of the great writers, either antient or modern, have ever treated about that noble and useful art.
That was before the day of high-school athletics. Girls who had to walk more than half a mile to school were pitied.
I cared more for athletics, and--there is no reason I should not confess it--more for billiards.
Then came Professor Woggle-Bug, with a group of students from the Royal College of Scientific Athletics. The boys wore long hair and striped sweaters and yelled their college yell every other step they took, to the great satisfaction of the populace, which was glad to have this evidence that their lungs were in good condition.
There were letters for her at the bureau--one from her brother, full of athletics and biology; one from her mother, delightful as only her mother's letters could be.
Invention of the great Professor Woggle-Bug, of the Royal College of Athletics. It contains soup, fish, roast meat, salad, apple-dumplings, ice cream and chocolate- drops, all boiled down to this small size, so it can be conveniently carried and swallowed when you are hungry and need a square meal."
He did take an active interest in student athletics. And he had some talent.
In football he proved a giant and a terror, and, in almost every form of track athletics, save for strange Berserker rages that were sometimes displayed, he could be depended upon to win.
He broke school records in scholarship and athletics, and whipped every boy of his size or years on Island McGill.