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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]