From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Athlete \Ath"lete\, n. [L. athleta, Gr. ? prizefighter, fr. ? to
   contend for a prize, ?, Hom. ?, contest, ? prize; fr. the
   same root as E. wed: cf. F. athl[`e]te.]
   1. (Antiq.) One who contended for a prize in the public games
      of ancient Greece or Rome.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. Any one trained to contend in exercises requiring great
      physical agility and strength; one who has great activity
      and strength; a champion.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. One fitted for, or skilled in, intellectual contests; as,
      athletes of debate.
      [1913 Webster]
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