Definition of sport in English:



  • 1An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment:

    ‘team sports such as soccer and rugby’
    [mass noun] ‘I used to play a lot of sport’
    ‘a sports centre’
    • ‘He loathed small talk, particularly that involving weather, or worse, sports, anything that did not really matter.’
    • ‘Do you get online to find out the latest scores of your favorite sports teams?’
    • ‘Rowing is the largest sport at the games with around 900 competitors.’
    • ‘I didn't play team sports but I played with kids in my neighborhood.’
    • ‘Included in the school's excellent facilities are a new library, sports centre, swimming pool, theatre and superb accommodation.’
    • ‘Of the three most popular team sports in America, baseball evokes the traditional agricultural life of a century ago.’
    • ‘In any sort of team sport, I'd stand at the back and hope no one would pick me.’
    • ‘Kelley was once the captain of Princeton's hockey team, and his love of the sport and his own personal knowledge come through in the screenplay.’
    • ‘I think this is comparable to what happens in any other sports team.’
    • ‘That's the situation with live sports: you get one chance and one chance only.’
    • ‘It is a sport that combines the best aspects of one-on-one competition but is also very much a team sport.’
    • ‘Others partner with local charities or sports teams for exposure.’
    • ‘It's always great to watch your favourite team play their sport, it's even better when they win.’
    • ‘My dad thought team sports were fascist organizations.’
    • ‘As a result, major sports (football, basketball and baseball) have attracted a tremendous share of television revenue.’
    • ‘But I was always made fun of and I was never considered cool because I wasn't a jock and I didn't play sports on any school team.’
    • ‘I didn't really like to be touched much, so team sports never appealed to me.’
    • ‘To use a sports metaphor for a moment, the history of sports is littered with teams that had lots of individual stars on them, but never made it to the championship game.’
    • ‘You can find out new info on your favorite sports team.’
    • ‘Now think about other physical tasks, such as playing a sport or a musical instrument, or a game involving perfecting neuromuscular skills.’
    physical recreation, physical activity, physical exercise
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    1. 1.1sportsBritish An occasion on which people compete in various athletic activities:
      ‘I won the 200 metres in the school sports’
    2. 1.2[mass noun], [usually with adjective] Success or pleasure derived from an activity such as hunting or fishing:
      ‘I have heard there is good sport to be had in Buttermere’
      • ‘Hunting with hounds demands great skill and the key to keeping your clientele as a hunt is to provide good sport.’
    3. 1.3dated [mass noun] Entertainment; fun:
      ‘it was considered great sport to catch him out’
      • ‘Over centuries of practice a whole elaborate system of rules and customs evolved to ensure this, not primarily for the sake of the quarry itself but with the aim of providing a good day's sport.’
      • ‘Here our noble hero sits out on the moors, accompanied by his dogs, surrounded by the spoils of a good day's sport and communing with this great, noble landscape.’
      • ‘Hunting in Shakespeare is normally for exercise or sport.’
      • ‘The physical challenges reminded me too much of gym class, but the mind games were great sport.’
      fun, amusement, amusing time, laugh, giggle, joke
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    4. 1.4archaic A source of amusement or entertainment:
      ‘I do not wish to show myself the sport of a man like Wildeve’
  • 2informal A person who behaves in a good or specified way in response to teasing, defeat, or a similarly trying situation:

    ‘go on, be a sport!’
    ‘Angela's a bad sport’
    • ‘Just seeing that clip go through, I was cracking up and I think Cate's such a good sport to send herself up in that way.’
    • ‘She was a pretty good sport especially considering some of the scenes and lines she had to deliver.’
    1. 2.1Australian, NZ Used as a friendly form of address, especially between men who do not know each other:
      ‘hold on, sport!’
  • 3Biology
    An animal or plant showing abnormal or striking variation from the parent type, especially in form or colour, as a result of spontaneous mutation.


  • 1[with object] Wear or display (a distinctive item):

    ‘he was sporting a huge handlebar moustache’
    • ‘She sports an excess of eye shadow and towers over 20 tiny infants scattered around on the floor and furniture in the room.’
    • ‘In three of four drawings in gouache and ink, the subject - her daughter - sports round-toed, strappy Mary Janes like an emblem of innocence.’
    • ‘Finally, he winds up sporting just a cowboy hat and a smile in a seedy, drug-infested strip club.’
    • ‘A magazine editor and writer with a literary background, Fry wore impeccably tailored suits, always sporting a carnation in the lapel.’
    • ‘Simon's search leads him to a strip club, where all the dancers sport astonishingly fake breasts.’
    • ‘The streak of white hair that he sports provides a bizarre touch that reflects the two-sided nature of the character's personality.’
    • ‘The identically shaped sculptures each sport distinctive coloration, as well as striped or polka-dotted underpants.’
    • ‘Rather oddly, the fireman sporting a handlebar moustache about to sip a saucer of hot cocoa is ignoring the fire ragtag behind him and turns his back on two colleagues who are tackling it.’
    • ‘The young man's black hair is parted in the middle, he sports a moustache and sideburns, and wears a large black cravat under a wide wing collar.’
    • ‘She sported a glamorous wardrobe, wearing a new gown every time she stepped on stage.’
    • ‘Here, the initial H is formed by two performers sporting long tunics and distinctive pointed shoes.’
    • ‘Ben sports a film of cold sweat that never leaves his upper lip, matching the one glistening on my forehead.’
    • ‘The smiling father sports a rifle nestled at his hip and wears a hat emblazoned with a coat of arms.’
    • ‘In my first years as head writer, I sported a mustache.’
    • ‘The performer appears on the cover sporting what looks like a nostril piercing but not much else.’
    • ‘She extended the action to posters picturing her seated, wearing the same pants, but also sporting a machine gun.’
    • ‘While every one else was letting it all hang out, they sported suits, ties and short haircuts.’
    • ‘After a lull in the late 90s, it's now cool again to sport the odd label here and there.’
    • ‘As my arms flew about in space, my hands sported enlarged puffy boxing mitts which had been sewn from muslin.’
    • ‘You instantly think about the patterns and designs we sport, what our outer markings are, and how we use them for both defense and allure.’
    wear, display, exhibit, have on show, show off, flourish, parade, flaunt
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  • 2[no object] Play in a lively, energetic way:

    ‘the children sported in the water’
    • ‘He spent the day sporting with the lady of the castle and the old woman, while the lord of the castle was out hunting the enormous boar.’
    play, have fun, amuse oneself, entertain oneself, enjoy oneself, divert oneself, frolic, gambol, frisk, romp, cavort, caper
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  • in sport

    • For fun:

      ‘I have assumed the name was given more or less in sport’
      as a joke, in jest, jokingly, for fun, teasingly, playfully
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  • make sport of

    • dated Make fun of:

      ‘the owls made sport of us—they called from all directions’
      • ‘Of course, they were wonderful objects to make sport of and play with.’
      • ‘She averted her eyes, thinking she was being made sport of.’
      • ‘He knows how to humiliate people, find their weaknesses and make sport of them.’
      • ‘You're, you know, you're taking the national sport and making sport of it.’
      • ‘And I realize that I have been made sport of by an awful lot of folks, particularly the late-night comedians.’
      make fun of, poke fun at, chaff, make jokes about, rag, mock, laugh at, guy, satirize, be sarcastic about
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  • the sport of kings

    • Horse racing.

      • ‘It just might edge into my top ten, but even I have been enthralled many, many times by the passion the sport of kings engenders.’
      • ‘Top institutional investors finding it hard to locate rich pickings on world markets are turning to the sport of kings to raise money for charity.’
      • ‘As reported, the filly, who turns two years old next month, is set to race this season, with early indications showing she could have an exciting future in the sport of kings.’
      • ‘This competition, combining music and the sport of kings with reading Waterford's finest newspaper, kicks off in this week's issue of the Waterford News & Star and continues for the next five weeks.’
      • ‘Horseracing is known as the sport of kings for good reason.’
      • ‘Now an East Yorkshire businessman is seeking to capitalise further on the Northern passion for the sport of kings.’
      • ‘Perhaps this type of punching was once the sport of kings, just as horse racing is said to be the sport of kings today.’
      • ‘Ambitious plans to create a new, multi-million pound racecourse between Altham and Simonstone have left many people toasting the possible arrival of the sport of kings.’
      • ‘In 1937, during the darkest depths of the Great Depression, these four mongrels had a go at the sport of kings and beat the bluebloods at their own game.’
      • ‘The semi-state company has overseen 12 months of unprecedented success for Irish horses in the sport of kings.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘pastime, entertainment’): shortening of disport.