Definition of sportsman in English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A keen sportsman, he plays tennis and golf, as well as being an enthusiastic canoeist and sailor.’
    • ‘Perhaps because he had been a champion sportsman in Europe, he idealised the athletic male body in his early sculptures.’
    • ‘Smith also enjoyed the Hurricanes' recent trip to South Africa, it was much better being over there as a sportsman rather than a tourist.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Indeed, the interviews are very puffy, never once giving us real insight into the psyche and/or soul of a seasoned professional sportsman.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As a young man, he had striven to prove himself physically as a sportsman.’
    • ‘For a lot of pro sportsmen that kind of trauma can send them off the rails.’
    • ‘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.’
    sportswoman, sportsman, sportsperson
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A 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.’
    2. 1.2dated 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The dogs are a reminder that the three friends were also keen sportsmen, and this journey would have provided them ample opportunities for indulgence.’