1. One who contended for a prize in the public games of ancient Greece or Rome.
2. Any one trained to contend in exercises requiring great physical agility and strength; one who has great activity and strength; a champion.
3. One fitted for, or skilled in, intellectual contests; as, athletes of debate.
Origin: L. Athleta, gr. Prizefighter, fr. To contend for a prize, Hom, contest, prize; fr. The same root as E. Wed: cf. F. Athlete.