a. An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.
b. often sports (used with a sing. verb) Such activities considered as a group: Sports is a good way for children to get exercise.
a. A usually challenging activity undertaken for amusement: "the sport of trying to eat [a bratwurst] with anything fewer than four paper napkins" (Jane Kramer).
b. Fun; amusement: balanced on the curb just for the sport of it.
a. Mockery; jest: He made sport of his own looks.
b. An object of mockery, jest, or play: treated our interests as sport.
c. A joking mood or attitude: She made the remark in sport.
a. One known for the manner of one's acceptance of rules, especially of a game, or of a difficult situation: a poor sport.
b. Informal A fair-minded person, especially one who accepts teasing or difficult situations well: Be a sport and show me where you caught those fish.
c. Informal A pleasant companion: was a real sport during the trip.
a. A person who lives a jolly, extravagant life.
b. A gambler at sporting events.
6. Biology An organism or a part of an organism that shows a marked change from the parent type, typically as a result of mutation.
7. Obsolete Amorous dalliance; lovemaking.
v. sport·ed, sport·ing, sports
1. To play or frolic: children sporting in the waves.
2. To joke or trifle: "Lear ... in a storm, half mad, sported with by the gods" (Cynthia Ozick).
1. To wear or have on one's body, especially prominently or ostentatiously: sports diamond earrings; sports a tattoo.
2. To have as a prominent feature: a car sporting a new paint job.
adj. or sports
1. Of, relating to, or appropriate for sports: sport fishing; sports equipment.
2. Designed or appropriate for outdoor or informal wear: a sport shirt.
[Middle English sporte, short for disporte, from Old French desport, pleasure, from desporter, to divert; see DISPORT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.