a. (used with a pl. verb) Physical exercises designed to develop and display strength, balance, and agility, especially those performed on or with specialized apparatus.
b. (used with a sing. verb) The art or practice of such exercises.
2. (used with a pl. verb)
a. Complex intellectual or artistic exercises: mental gymnastics.
b. Informal Feats of physical agility: had to go through gymnastics to cross the slippery walk.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.