Definition of sportsman in English:


nounPlural sportsmen

  • 1A man who takes part in a sport, especially as a professional.

    • ‘During the 1930s he spent time in Spain and Africa and resided in Key West, Florida, where he gained a reputation as a sportsman and athlete.’
    • ‘To begin your marketing adventure, head West, where 32 percent of all zealous American outdoor sportsmen live.’
    • ‘During his 16-year career as a professional sportsman, Moran put his BComm from UCD and his accountancy qualification to good use.’
    • ‘A different footballing culture, combined with a couple of ‘incidents’ that the Italians didn't find becoming of a professional sportsman, led to his return to England.’
    • ‘An athlete and sportsman, he played football (as a goalkeeper), skied and was an avid theatregoer, at one time he even considered becoming an actor.’
    • ‘Ice tobogganing is another thrilling sport which only an élite of sportsmen practise, although most of us have seen it on TV.’
    • ‘His mother was a piano teacher, his father an official at a mine outside Johannesburg and a keen amateur sportsman (becoming South African marathon champion, no less).’
    • ‘Still, he has a knowing charm, a sportsman's physique and the gift of the gab.’
    • ‘A keen sportsman, he plays tennis and golf, as well as being an enthusiastic canoeist and sailor.’
    • ‘For a lot of pro sportsmen that kind of trauma can send them off the rails.’
    • ‘The nation sees its self-respect, its status, its success and failure, in the performance of a small number of young sportsmen on a field of play.’
    • ‘Perhaps because he had been a champion sportsman in Europe, he idealised the athletic male body in his early sculptures.’
    • ‘I have no objection to professional sportsmen but I don't think they derive the same pleasure from their exertions as the people who play sport primarily for enjoyment.’
    • ‘He is now the highest-earning sportsman in the world and is expected to become a billionaire - the first sports person to achieve this - within the next decade.’
    • ‘As a young man, he had striven to prove himself physically as a sportsman.’
    • ‘Despite being one of the best paid sportsmen of a generation, he was declared bankrupt just one year after playing his last professional match.’
    • ‘The Super 12 is a brutally tough competition, but the reality of being professional sportsmen is you've got to take the heat when you don't perform.’
    • ‘Indeed, the interviews are very puffy, never once giving us real insight into the psyche and/or soul of a seasoned professional sportsman.’
    • ‘Smith also enjoyed the Hurricanes' recent trip to South Africa, it was much better being over there as a sportsman rather than a tourist.’
    • ‘The old adage of practice makes perfect applies here, that these sportsmen who now play almost all year long must also practice more than ever before.’
    sportswoman, sportsperson
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1dated A man who hunts or shoots wild animals as a pastime.
      • ‘Hemingway was a keen sportsman but he was fond of blood sports.’
      • ‘A ‘gillie’, by the by, was originally an attendant on a Highland chief, but by the nineteenth century was a sportsman's attendant.’
      • ‘The dogs are a reminder that the three friends were also keen sportsmen, and this journey would have provided them ample opportunities for indulgence.’
      • ‘Among the draperies and furniture upholstered in this redundancy of plaids are other tropes of the sportsman's lodge - chandeliers, racks of antlers, hunting prints framed in plaids.’
  • 2A person who behaves sportingly.

    • ‘It might have been about having a choice between behaving like a sportsman or behaving like a boor and doing the latter because it suited him at the time.’