Definition of tournament in English:



  • 1(in a sport or game) a series of contests between a number of competitors, competing for an overall prize.

    • ‘South Africa have competed at the last two World Cup tournaments and three African Nations Cup finals.’
    • ‘The Greeks proved in the European Championships that winning games, and tournaments, needn't be a pretty spectacle now.’
    • ‘Myself and the lads I worked with would all swap shifts and take alternate weekends off, which was great because it allowed me to compete in tournaments.’
    • ‘In this, the first game of the tournament, the North West take on the Midlands.’
    • ‘I like big events and know how to prepare for and focus on big games and tournaments.’
    • ‘But it was a false dawn because they haven't won a game at the tournament since.’
    • ‘These days, you need to take breaks and rejuvenate yourself, because the tournaments are getting more competitive.’
    • ‘At the time, teams competed in both tournaments, and both were equally important.’
    • ‘Can you foresee a time when gaming tournaments rival sports championships in terms of audience interest and ratings?’
    • ‘Unlike many of the games in the tournament this one was played without fear by both teams.’
    • ‘She competed regularly in junior tournaments throughout Ohio and was good enough to play in national events.’
    • ‘The two-set victory left May and Walsh as the only team that have not dropped a single game in the tournament.’
    • ‘In 14 World Cup games in five previous tournaments Korea had not won a match.’
    • ‘Some coaches would laugh at team bowling tournaments, at weightlifting competition and the like.’
    • ‘In fact, they lost all their games in both tournaments by cricket scores.’
    • ‘The two sides meet at the start of the tournament in a game as important and as big as England's clash with France.’
    • ‘England beat them in the semi-final in one of the best games of the tournament.’
    • ‘He said all competitions or tournaments that were scheduled to take place this weekend should go ahead as arranged.’
    • ‘Activities will include tennis coaching, co-ordination games, multi sport tournaments and lots more.’
    • ‘The Oklahoma City native competes in bass fishing tournaments and would one day like to do so full time.’
    competition, contest, championship, series, meeting, meet, event, match, trial, bout, fixture
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  • 2(in the Middle Ages) a sporting event in which two knights (or two groups of knights) jousted on horseback with blunted weapons, each trying to knock the other off, the winner receiving a prize.

    • ‘It examines chivalric ritual and tournament, much of which took place at Greenwich.’
    • ‘Two stimulating papers look at tournaments and trial by battle: courtly violence in the vein of what has been discussed above.’
    • ‘Hunting and tournaments, at least for some nobles, began to give way to a lively interest in culture and education.’
    • ‘Heraldry originated in medieval warfare and tournaments when it was necessary to identify knights who were completely covered in armour.’
    • ‘The mêlée tournaments of this period were extremely rough affairs.’
    • ‘During times of peace, the tournament was the setting for displays of military and equestrian skill.’
    • ‘What no one could expect was the death, in July, of Henry II of France in an accident at a tournament.’
    • ‘Warwick Castle has been staging jousting tournaments since the 12 th century, so they really should have the hang of it by now.’
    • ‘Geoffrey was fatally wounded in a tournament in Paris and the baby was born afterwards, in 1187.’
    • ‘Later the same year Albany was killed by a lance splinter at a tournament in Paris.’
    • ‘So he decides to pretend he's the knight and enter a big old jousting tournament.’
    • ‘The Black Knight tournament is held twice a year, once in the fall term, and again in the winter term.’
    joust, jousting, tourney, tilt
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    1. 2.1 A modern event involving display of military techniques and exercises.
      ‘the Royal Tournament’


Middle English (in tournament (sense 2)): from Anglo-Norman French variants of Old French torneiement, from torneier ‘take part in a tourney’ (see tourney).