- a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength; a participant in a sport, exercise, or game requiring physical skill.
- a person trained to compete in sports or exercises involving physical strength, speed, or endurance
- a person who has a natural aptitude for physical activities
- mainly British a competitor in track and field events
n.early 15c., from Latin athleta “a wrestler, athlete, combatant in public games,” from Greek athletes “prizefighter, contestant in the games,” agent noun from athlein “to contest for a prize,” related to athlos “a contest” and athlon “a prize,” of unknown origin. Before 1750, usually in Latin form. In this sense, Old English had plegmann “play-man.” Athlete’s foot first recorded 1928, for an ailment that has been around much longer.