from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An activity involving physical exertion and skill that is governed by a set of rules or customs and often undertaken competitively.
  • noun Such activities considered as a group.
  • noun A usually challenging activity undertaken for amusement.
  • noun Fun; amusement.
  • noun Mockery; jest.
  • noun An object of mockery, jest, or play.
  • noun A joking mood or attitude.
  • noun One known for the manner of one's acceptance of rules, especially of a game, or of a difficult situation.
  • noun Informal A fair-minded person, especially one who accepts teasing or difficult situations well.
  • noun Informal A pleasant companion.
  • noun A person who lives a jolly, extravagant life.
  • noun A gambler at sporting events.
  • noun Biology An organism or a part of an organism that shows a marked change from the parent type, typically as a result of mutation.
  • noun Obsolete Amorous dalliance; lovemaking.
  • intransitive verb To play or frolic.
  • intransitive verb To joke or trifle.
  • intransitive verb To wear or have on one's body, especially prominently or ostentatiously.
  • intransitive verb To have as a prominent feature.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or appropriate for sports.
  • adjective Designed or appropriate for outdoor or informal wear.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To amuse; divert; entertain; make merry: commonly with a reflexive object.
  • To represent by any kind of play.
  • To display sportively or with ostentation; show-off; show; exhibit.
  • To spend in display.
  • To cause to sport, or vary from the normal type.
  • To divert one's self; play; frolic; take part in games or other pastimes; specifically, to practise field-sports.
  • To jest; speak or act jestingly; trifle.
  • In zoöl, and botany, to become a sport; produce a sport; vary from normal structure in a singular spontaneous manner, as an animal or a plant. See sport. n., 8.
  • noun Amusement; enjoyment; entertainment; diversion; fun.
  • noun A mode of amusement; a playful act or proceeding; apastime; amerrymaking; aplay, game, or other form of diversion.
  • noun Specifically— A dramatic or spectacular performance.
  • noun Any out-of-door pastime, such as hunting, fishing, racing, or the various forms of athletic contests.
  • noun Jest, as opposed to earnest; mere pleasantry.
  • noun Amorous dallying; wantonness.
  • noun A plaything; a toy.
  • noun A subjeet of amusement, mirth, or derision; especially, a mock; a laughing-stock.
  • noun Play; idle jingle.
  • noun In zoology and botany, an animal or a plant, or any part of one, that varies suddenly or singularly from the normal type of structure, and is usually of transient character, or not perpetuated.
  • noun A sporting man; one who is interested in open-air sports; hence, in a bad sense, a betting man; a gambler; a blackleg.
  • noun Synonyms Recreation, hilarity, merriment, mirth, jollity, gamboling.
  • noun Frolic, prank.
  • noun A man; a fellow; especially a man who has a fad: as, a fresh-air sport.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To play; to frolic; to wanton.
  • intransitive verb To practice the diversions of the field or the turf; to be given to betting, as upon races.
  • intransitive verb To trifle.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English sporte, short for disporte, from Old French desport, pleasure, from desporter, to divert; see disport.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French desport, variant of deport ("fun, amusement"), from Latin deportāre, present active infinitive of deportō.


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  • Adam Cartwright. Had to look that one up. See A Horse is a Horse

    February 1, 2008

  • Can anyone verify WeirdNET 5, ie. 'a temporary summer resident of Maine'?

    April 8, 2008

  • That's pretty weird. So is 10--"an organism that has characteristics resulting from chromosomal alteration." WTF?

    April 8, 2008

  • The chromosomal alteration bit I've heard before -- a sport can be a mutant, essentially. I would assume that's the derivation for the word's use for a person who's a little off.

    Then there are sport peppers, which with a little celery salt makes a fine accompaniment to a Chicago hot dog.

    April 8, 2008

  • What about #14? How odd.

    April 8, 2008

  • When I was in high school I had a T-shirt which read, in Swedish, "music saved me from sport". (The translation was in small letters on the sleeve.) I loved that T-shirt! And it was true: anyone in the annual school musical was exempt from sport for half the year, because that was when rehearsals took place. Hee hee.

    November 12, 2008

  •      "Tell us what you're doing here," Charles Wallace said.

         "What is this? The third degree? Aren't you the one who's supposed to be the moron?"

         Meg flushed with rage, but Charles Wallace answered placidly, "That's right. If you want me to call my dog off you'd better give."

         "Most peculiar moron I've ever met," Calvin said. "I just came to get away from my family."

         Charles Wallace nodded. "What kind of family?"

         "They all have runny noses. I'm third from the top of eleven kids. I'm a sport."

         At that Charles Wallace grinned widely. "So'm I."

         "I don't mean like in baseball," Calvin said.

         "Neither do I."

         "I mean like in biology," Calvin said suspiciously.

         "A change in gene," Charles Wallace quoted, "resulting in the appearance in the offspring of a character which is not present in the parents but which is potentially transmissible to their offspring."

         "What gives around here?" Calvin asked. "I was told you couldn't talk."

         "Thinking I'm a moron gives people something to feel smug about," Charles Wallace said. "Why should I disillusion them? How old are you, Cal?"


         "What grade?"

         "Junior. Eleventh. I'm bright. Listen, did anybody ask you to come here this afternoon?"

         Charles Wallace, holding Fort by the collar, looked at Calvin suspiciously. "What do you mean, ask?"

         Calvin shrugged. "You still don't trust me, do you?"

         "I don't distrust you," Charles Wallace said.

         "Do you want to tell me why you're here, then?"

         "Fort and Meg and I decided to go for a walk. We often do in the afternoon."

         Calvin dug his hands down in his pockets. "You're holding out on me."

         "So're you," Charles Wallace said.

         "Okay, old sport," Calvin said, "I'll tell you this much. Sometimes I get a feeling about things. You might call it a compulsion. Do you know what compulsion means?"

         "Constraint. Obligation. Because one is compelled. Not a very good definition, but it's the Concise Oxford."

          "Okay, okay," Calvin sighed. "I must remember I'm preconditioned in my concept of your mentality."

    -- from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, pp. 31-32.

    August 9, 2010

  • He’s lost the beard he sported in years past, along with a lot of weight — 50 pounds, he says, since he changed his diet and stopped taking antidepressants.

    transitive v. To display or show off: "His shoes sported elevated heels” ( Truman Capote).

    January 18, 2018