Corinthian spirit

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From Corinthian (of a sporting event: restricted to gentleman amateurs).


Corinthian spirit (plural Corinthian spirits)

  1. (dated) Amateurism, originally in yachting.
    • 1879 February, “Sporting News”, in Buffalo Commercial[1], Buffalo (NY), page 3:
      [A] farmer living on Lake Ontario ... was seized with the Corinthian spirit after reading some articles on boating. The farmer wrote: A neighbor and myself built a boat for instruction and amusement ...
    • 1886 June 19, “A Trick At The Helm”, in Chambers's Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Arts[2], London: Chambers, page 399:
      An enthusiastic yachtsman, he, in true Corinthian spirit, worked his little craft himself ...
    • 1909 January 10, “Negro Was Favorite With London Sports”, in Scranton Republican[3], Scranton, PA, page 2:
      In the clubs interest in boxing for money seems almost dead. The army boxing contests are keenly followed, so are those of those of the universities and public schools, but the old Corinthian spirit has dropped many degrees in the social scale.
  2. An especially high standard of sportsmanship
    • 1924 May 30, “St. Mary's Old Boys At Dinner”, in Dover Express[4], page 5:
      Another thing the Association fostered, he thought, was the Old Boy spirit -- the Corinthian spirit -- and one way in which that was done was through sport.
    • 2000, Adrian Smith with Dilwyn Porter, Amateurs and Professionals in Post-war British Sport, page 2:
      It would be an injustice, however, to regard Pegasus as simply a late flowering of the Corinthian spirit, a throwback to an era of elite amateurism