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.

    • ‘After winning the pentathlon at the Olympic Games, probably in 444 BC, he went on to write one of the first training manuals.’
    • ‘They show particular eminence in fencing, wrestling, pentathlon, swimming and canoeing.’
    • ‘She won a gold medal in the pentathlon event at the 1972 Munich games.’
    • ‘Two years later the ancient pentathlon was established in Greece.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mary Peters, 1972 Olympic champion in the pentathlon, the forerunner of the heptathlon, describes her, wonderfully, as ‘part gazelle, part kangaroo’.’
    • ‘If pentathlon loses its Olympic status, its supporters argue, the sport will wither and die.’
    • ‘Baseball might be right up with pentathlon and synchronised swimming among sports of dubious Olympian pedigree.’
    • ‘Thorpe was the sensation of the 1912 Stockholm Olympics and won the pentathlon and decathlon gold medals by huge margins.’
    • ‘He would recover, though, and go on to win the silver medal in the pentathlon at the 1996 Olympics.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The regional project has challenged pupils to construct a ‘mechanical athlete’ that will compete in a mechanical pentathlon.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's not including her numerous medals and trophies for triathlons, pentathlons and track and field events.’
    • ‘American Indian athlete Jim Thorpe was the most outstanding, winning the track & field, pentathlon and 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’.