Definition of pentathlon in English:



  • An athletic event comprising five different events for each competitor, in particular (also modern pentathlon) an event involving fencing, shooting, swimming, riding, and cross-country running.

    • ‘Mary Peters, 1972 Olympic champion in the pentathlon, the forerunner of the heptathlon, describes her, wonderfully, as ‘part gazelle, part kangaroo’.’
    • ‘American Indian athlete Jim Thorpe was the most outstanding, winning the track & field, pentathlon and decathlon.’
    • ‘The regional project has challenged pupils to construct a ‘mechanical athlete’ that will compete in a mechanical pentathlon.’
    • ‘They show particular eminence in fencing, wrestling, pentathlon, swimming and canoeing.’
    • ‘The guys who were best at the pentathlon wouldn't be the best at the specialty events, but people would admire their versatility and great skill.’
    • ‘Thorpe was the sensation of the 1912 Stockholm Olympics and won the pentathlon and decathlon gold medals by huge margins.’
    • ‘Baseball might be right up with pentathlon and synchronised swimming among sports of dubious Olympian pedigree.’
    • ‘Two years later the ancient pentathlon was established in Greece.’
    • ‘She won a gold medal in the pentathlon event at the 1972 Munich games.’
    • ‘If pentathlon loses its Olympic status, its supporters argue, the sport will wither and die.’
    • ‘Even if you managed to meet these requirements, there were still only a limited number of sports to compete in; foot races, discus, javelin, long jump, wrestling, boxing, the pentathlon and equestrian events.’
    • ‘Nordic skiing is the one common denominator to all winter duathlons, triathlons, quadrathlons and pentathlons - some freestyle, some classic, some with a leg of each.’
    • ‘He would recover, though, and go on to win the silver medal in the pentathlon at the 1996 Olympics.’
    • ‘But it was during his sophomore year in high school after meeting a pentathlon athlete that he first took a hard look at his own possibilities in the sport.’
    • ‘The first Olympic victor in the long jump was Lampis of Sparta, who in 708 B.C. won the pentathlon - a contest consisting of five separate events, including the long jump.’
    • ‘After winning the pentathlon at the Olympic Games, probably in 444 BC, he went on to write one of the first training manuals.’
    • ‘She watched as pupils competed in a pentathlon on the school field, before presenting awards to pupils judged to be either the best sportsperson, most improved sportsperson or most sportsmanlike pupil in their class.’
    • ‘You should have had Thorpe, the winner of the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Olympics who also played Major League Baseball from 1913 to 1919.’
    • ‘It's not including her numerous medals and trophies for triathlons, pentathlons and track and field events.’
    • ‘The 1912 Olympics in Stockholm are best remembered for Jim Thorpe's world record successes in the most demanding track and field events, the pentathlon and the decathlon.’


Early 17th century (denoting the original five events of leaping, running, discus-throwing, spear-throwing, and wrestling): from Greek, from pente five + athlon contest.