Sport Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster

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ˈspȯrt sported ; sporting ; sports

intransitive verb

1 a : to amuse oneself : frolic lambs sporting in the meadow b : to engage in a sport 2 a : to mock or ridicule something b : to speak or act in jest : trifle 3 [ sport entry 2 ] : to deviate or vary abruptly from type (as by bud variation) : mutate

transitive verb

1 : to display or wear usually ostentatiously : boast sporting expensive new shoes 2 [ sport entry 2 ] : to put forth as a sport or bud variation


2 of 3


1 a : a source of diversion : recreation b : sexual play c (1) : physical activity engaged in for pleasure (2) : a particular activity (such as an athletic game) so engaged in 2 a : pleasantry , jest b : often mean-spirited jesting : mockery , derision 3 a : something tossed or driven about in or as if in play b : laughingstock 4 a : sportsman b : a person considered with respect to living up to the ideals of sportsmanship a good sport a poor sport c : a companionable person 5 : an individual exhibiting a sudden deviation from type beyond the normal limits of individual variation usually as a result of mutation especially of somatic tissue


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variants or sports : of, relating to, or suitable for sports especially : styled in a manner suitable for casual or informal wear sport coats



dally disport frolic play recreate rollick skylark toy


dalliance frolic frolicking fun fun and games play recreation relaxation rollicking See all Synonyms & Antonyms in Thesaurus Choose the Right Synonym for sport

fun , jest , sport , game , play mean action or speech that provides amusement or arouses laughter.

fun usually implies laughter or gaiety but may imply merely a lack of serious or ulterior purpose.

played cards just for fun

jest implies lack of earnestness and may suggest a hoaxing or teasing.

hurt by remarks said only in jest

sport applies especially to the arousing of laughter against someone.

teasing begun in sport led to anger

game is close to sport , and often stresses mischievous or malicious fun.

made game of their poor relations

play stresses the opposition to earnest without implying any malice or mischief.

pretended to strangle his brother in play

Example Sentences

Verb She showed up at the party sporting a bright red hat. from sailing to snorkeling, each day we sported at a different activity offered by the beach resort Noun She likes to play sport . Ice-skating with friends is my favorite sport . Recent Examples on the Web Verb Grifol's counterpart in the other dugout will sport a bit longer resume. Michael Shapiro, Chron , 9 Nov. 2022 The new iPad Pro will likely sport the latest Apple silicon released in June for the MacBook Air, that is, the M2 processor. David Phelan, Forbes , 3 Oct. 2022 Forest paths will sport plaques explaining the local ecology and referencing the films via QR barcodes that have supported the forest. John Hopewell, Variety , 12 Sep. 2022 Like in the original series, all the Targaryens will sport signature platinum blonde hair, but what do the actors who portray the dragon-riding family look like in real life? Emily Burack, Town & Country , 29 Aug. 2022 And for those wondering, the Irish will sport white jerseys with gold numbers and golden accents. Mark Heim | [email protected], al , 15 Aug. 2022 Josh Bilicki, driver of the No. 77 Chevrolet, will sport an MSU paint scheme as Tucker and Izzo are official guests of the Zeigler Auto Group. Tony Garcia, Detroit Free Press , 8 Aug. 2022 Each Infynito fleet member will sport eco paints, sustainable teak and recyclable fabrics and leathers. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report , 5 Aug. 2022 The sweet spot between the two acidity levels can result in purple flowers, and occasionally plants will sport all three colors at once. Miri Talabac, Baltimore Sun , 29 June 2022 Noun Olympic gold came Canada’s way not because of all that is right with her sport , but in spite of what Sinclair believes is wrong. oregonlive , 1 Nov. 2022 Few teams rule their sport the way ASU does in women's triathlon. Ryan Finley, The Arizona Republic , 29 Oct. 2022 Darya often doesn’t feel well enough to see her friends or play her favorite sport , water polo. Jamie Ducharme, Time , 24 Oct. 2022 Cordero tried basketball, soccer, handball and track before realizing volleyball was going to be her sport . Terry Monahan, San Diego Union-Tribune , 24 Oct. 2022 However, a select few will place a life-changing wager on their favorite sport . cleveland , 21 Oct. 2022 Schools can tell prospective recruits the median income (from name, image and likeness) earned in their sport by the student-athletes already on campus. Adam Baum, The Enquirer , 20 Oct. 2022 Brady and Durant shared their thoughts on how to balance work and life outside of their sport . Analis Bailey, USA TODAY , 18 Oct. 2022 Reaves recently spoke to the Carroll County Times about her season, playing a key role on a team with high expectations and how her success in her spring sport translates to the volleyball court. Anthony Maluso, Baltimore Sun , 13 Oct. 2022 Adjective BetMGM has a great way for bettors to get in on all the action with their cross- sport parlay boost. Doug Ziefel, Chicago Tribune , 31 Oct. 2022 Bottom Line: Multi- sport protection against the elements without a weight penalty. Phillip Dwight Morgan, Outside Online , 18 Oct. 2022 But while football remains king in the Lone Star State, the Texans don’t seem to have the same cultural impact as their cross- sport counterparts. Michael Shapiro, Chron , 4 Oct. 2022 All of these opportunities add up and speak very positively for us as a nationally recognized and sought-after multi- sport , professional, college, and amateur destination. Roy S. Johnson | [email protected], al , 16 Sep. 2022 Tennis is played increasingly in public parks and schools and has become part of a multi- sport experience for kids, Blackman says. Emily Burack, Town & Country , 9 Sep. 2022 The Invictus Games, which Harry started in 2014, are an international multi- sport tournament for wounded servicemen and women, both serving and veterans. Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR , 6 Sep. 2022 The first step in an initiative to build a multi- sport adaptive athletics program at JSerra, the Orahoods have been running this wheelchair tennis clinic since April 13. Eric Sondheimer, Los Angeles Times , 13 June 2022 This year, 4,500 athletes from 72 and territories are expected to participate in the multi- sport event. Amanda Taylor, , 31 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sport.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback .

Word History



Middle English, to divert, disport, short for disporten

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1586, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler The first known use of sport was in the 15th century See more words from the same century

Phrases Containing sport

good sport for sport sport coat spectator sport poor / bad sport make sport of team sport sport utility vehicle sport utility sport shirt sport fish the sport of kings in sport winter sport sport ute blood sport sport jacket See More good sport for sport sport coat spectator sport poor / bad sport make sport of team sport sport utility vehicle sport utility sport shirt sport fish the sport of kings in sport winter sport sport ute blood sport sport jacket See More

Articles Related to sport

Fun With Sports-Team Names

Or How a Maple Leaf Survives an Avalanche

Dictionary Entries Near sport




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Cite this Entry

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“Sport.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Nov. 2022.

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Kids Definition

sport 1 of 3


ˈspō(ə)rt ˈspȯ(ə)rt 1 : to amuse oneself : frolic 2 : to speak or act in fun 3 : show off sense 1


2 of 3


1 a : pastime , recreation b : physical activity (as hunting, running, or an athletic game) engaged in for pleasure 2 a : jest sense 2 b : fun entry 1 sense 3 make sport of someone 3 : a person who shows good sportsmanship 4 : an individual that shows a sudden major change from the normal type usually as a result of a mutation a yellow sport among the red apples


3 of 3


variants or sports : of, relating to, or suitable for sports sports equipment also : made in a style suitable for casual or informal wear a sport coat

Medical Definition



ˈspō(ə)rt, ˈspȯ(ə)rt : an individual exhibiting a sudden deviation from type beyond the normal limits of individual variation usually as a result of mutation especially of somatic tissue

More from Merriam-Webster on sport

Nglish: Translation of sport for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sport for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sport

Last Updated: 15 Nov 2022 - Updated example sentences Love words? Need even more definitions?

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