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Sports Vocabulary: 80 Essential Sports Terms and Definitions

sports vocabulary with meaning

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What are words used in sports? What sports are in English?

This post is an essential guide to the most important sports vocabulary with meaning. It is about general sports terms and definitions. (Sport words)

Sports Vocabulary with Meaning/ Sports Terms

Below is a list of sports vocabulary. The sports words are listed with short and simple definitions.

  • Athlete

A person who plays sports

  • Athletics

Sports in which people run, jump, or throw things to see who is the best.

  • Player

Someone who plays a sport

  • Team

A group of sportsmen who play together.

  • Captain

The leader of a team or group.

  • Coach

A coach is a person who teaches sports.

  • Referee

A person who controls a game.

  • Amateur

A person who plays a sport for enjoyment, not as a job.

  • Professional

A person who plays a sport as a paid job. Someone who earns money for doing a sport is a professional.

  • Match

A formal contest or game.

  • Goal

The act of kicking or hitting the ball into the goal; a point that is scored for this.

  • Spectators

People who are watching a sporting event.

  • Fans

People who admire or enjoy watching a game like football. (Football fans)

  • Supporters

People who support a player or a sports team. (Football supporters).

  • Score

A number of goals or points each player or team has.

In most sports, a score of zero is called “nil”. However, in tennis and table tennis, it’s called “love”.

A score of 1:1, 2:2, 3:3, etc. is called “one all”, “two all”, “three all”, etc.

  • Cup

A prize, shaped like a bowl, usually made of gold or silver.

  • Medal

A piece of metal, usually round or shaped like a cross, given to someone who has won a game or contest.

sports words and phrases
Sports vocabulary with meaning
  • Contest

A competition or game in which people compete.

  • Rules

The laws of a game or contest.

  • Tournament

A sports competition. ( A tennis tournament)

  • Champion

A competitor that has defeated all others in a game or contest.

  • Award

A prize, a payment, etc. given to someone in recognition of an achievement

Sports vocabulary (vocabulary related to sports): Verbs

Here is a sport vocabulary list of verbs

  • Exercise

To run or play sports so that you can be healthy.

  • Train

To prepare for a sports event by exercising. (He’s training for the race.)

  • Attack

To take the initiative in a contest, game, etc. to attempt to score a goal or point.

  • Defend

To try to prevent your opponent from scoring a goal or point.

  • Praise

To show that you like someone or something. (The coach praised the player for scoring a brilliant goal.)

  • Last

To continue or go on for an amount of time. (The football match lasted for about 2 hours.)

  • Score

To gain or achieve a point or a goal in a game.

  • Win

To be victorious or come first in a contest, a race, etc.

  • Lose

To fail to win a game, a contest, etc.

  • Beat

If you beat someone in a contest, a competition, a game, etc., you win.

  • Defeat

To win a victory over a player or team in a competition or game.

  • Draw

To end a game or match with an equal result, so that no one wins.

  • Support

To want a team, a player, a group, etc. to succeed/win.

  • Cheer on

To encourage a player or a team by shouting.

  • Compete

To take part in a competition or contest.

  • Award

To give someone an award.

  • Whistle

The referee whistles when the players break the game rules.

Sports vocabulary / sport words: Places where you play or do sports

sports vocabulary with meaning

An area painted with lines for playing particular sports, especially football. (A football/hockey/cricket pitch)

  • Court

The place where you play tennis.

  • Course (= golf course)
sports vocabulary with meaning

A large area of land where you can play golf.

  • Track

A piece of land with special surfaces for people, cars, motorcycles, etc to have races on. ( a running track for example).

  • Pool (= swimming pool)

An area of water that has been designed for people to swim in.

  • Slope

An area of land that is part of a mountain where you can go skiing.

  • Ring

A square area on a platform, marked off by ropes, where boxers or wrestlers fight.

  • Rink (=ice rink or skating rink)

A specially prepared flat surface of ice where you can ice skate.

Sports vocabulary with meaning: Popular sports (sports words)

  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Handball
  • Volleyball
  • Tennis
  • Badminton
sports vocabulary with meaning
  • Table tennis
  • Squash
  • Cricket
  • Rugby
  • Hockey

  • Athletics
  • Gymnastics
  • Cycling
  • Boxing
  • Wrestling
  • Horse-racing
sports terms
  • Motor racing
  • Sailing
  • Windsurfing
  • Snooker
sports vocabulary with meaning
Sports words
  • Weight-lifting

Sports equipment

  • Swimsuit
  • Clubs
  • Cue
  • Balls
  • Bat

  • Ski sticks
  • Goggles
  • Gloves
  • Gumshield
  • Racket
  • Running shoes
  • Saddle

  • Skates
  • Parallel bars
  • Vault
  • Weights

Sport vocabulary: Gym workout vocabulary

  • Bars
  • Barbell
  • To bounce
  • To bulk up
  • To burn calories

  • A cable
  • To cool down
  • To do abs
  • Abdominal crunch
  • An exercise bike
  • An exercise ball

  • To gain weight
  • To lose weight
  • To get fit
  • Jumping jacks
  • To pump iron
  • Push-ups

  • A skipping rope
  • To stretch
  • To take a breather
  • A weight plate

Highly useful links about English vocabulary:

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