Definition of athletic in US English:



  • 1Physically strong, fit, and active.

    ‘big, muscular, athletic boys’
    • ‘But he is a strong swimmer with an athletic build, and he eventually manages to save himself.’
    • ‘Usually lean, they have strong bodies and may even be quite athletic.’
    • ‘This must have been quite an achievement on a rope ladder and, to the best of my knowledge, he was not a very strong or athletic person.’
    • ‘In the film, Harris is an athletic coal miner determined to play professional rugby.’
    • ‘Her body, once the robust athletic image of health, now requires a machine to keep it alive.’
    • ‘This frog is the most athletic of all the frogs and has a broad background in physical endeavours.’
    • ‘He was a short man, less than five feet tall, but in his young days he was physically strong and athletic.’
    • ‘They may be the stronger sex, powerful and athletic and all that, but men are as supple as steel girders.’
    • ‘Ollie Walsh was so brave and athletic and was quite the greatest hurling goalkeeper I saw.’
    • ‘Their gracefulness and expressiveness hid the fact that they were also very athletic and strong.’
    • ‘You would be hard pressed to find a more athletic person from a physical standpoint.’
    • ‘Big and strong but not as athletic as he needs to be, Snyder has room for improvement.’
    • ‘On the down side, she wasn't very athletic and she hung out with some odd people.’
    • ‘Guys are ranked according to how athletic they are and girls are ranked by their looks.’
    • ‘Darling, if you are a fit thirty-year-old, a sleeveless vest will indeed make you look sporty and athletic.’
    • ‘He was a slim and athletic young man in his mid-twenties with a copper tan.’
    • ‘They're athletic, quick, strong, aggressive guys and they're always improving.’
    • ‘He was also an athletic boy yet he had no great liking for games.’
    • ‘As his athletic bulk has turned to flab, he is now seen as a danger only to fellow-users of public transport.’
    • ‘Shay's father knew that his son was not at all athletic and that most boys would not want him on their team.’
    muscular, muscly, sturdy, strapping, well built, powerfully built, strong, powerful, robust, able-bodied, vigorous, hardy, lusty, hearty, hale and hearty, brawny, burly, broad-shouldered, thickset, herculean
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  • 2attributive Relating to athletes or athletics.

    ‘athletic events’
    ‘an athletic club’
    • ‘Brian is a member of the Newcastle athletic club and the long jump is his specialist field.’
    • ‘The cold was no match for these paragons of athletic prowess and goodwill.’
    • ‘We take this opportunity to thank them for their many hours of hard work and commitment to the athletic club.’
    • ‘Up to this juncture Pat was a heavy smoker, lived life to the full and certainly showed no athletic prowess.’
    • ‘Her athletic prowess was demonstrated in the numerous track and field trophies she won.’
    • ‘They don't have to be the best or even better than average in every athletic event.’
    • ‘When I work on it, I really enjoy it but it's almost like professional athletic training.’
    • ‘It was an athletic event held against the backdrop of race, war, religion, and theatrics.’
    • ‘During school I was always involved in sports and generally excelled in all athletic events.’
    • ‘He has forged an impressive path to the pinnacle of one of the world's greatest athletic events.’
    • ‘Eight years later Tokyo was host to one of the greatest athletic battles in recent history.’
    • ‘Sports physiologists know that athletic ability does not deteriorate nearly as rapidly as was once thought.’
    • ‘Paddy was always great company and is very sadly missed by the athletic fraternity.’
    • ‘He said they are starting their athletic training right away to prepare for it.’
    • ‘It is the height of the athletic track season and Sligo athletes are getting in on the action.’
    • ‘Many people think of sports medicine as merely the treatment of athletic injuries.’
    • ‘Many people stretch before or after engaging in athletic activity.’
    • ‘Together they have kept Tinryland athletic club to the forefront of national athletics.’
    • ‘For competitions, archers will wear white shirts, white pants and white athletic shoes.’
    • ‘In outdoor soccer, athletic attributes like speed and strength can be maximised.’
    • ‘The company has become a $9 billion powerhouse that dominates the athletic shoe market.’
    sporting, sports, games, gymnastic
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Mid 17th century: from French athlétique or Latin athleticus, from Greek athlētikos, from athlētēs (see athlete).