Olympic Games

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From Olympic + games, after Middle French ieux olympiques.

Proper noun[edit]

Olympic Games

  1. (historical, Ancient Greece) A sporting festival held every four or five years on the Plain of Olympia in southern Greece, in honour of Zeus. [from 16th c.]
    The first Olympic Games are traditionally dated to 776 BC.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 17, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes [], book II, London: [] Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount [], OCLC 946730821:
      In the times of the Olimpike games, with chariots exceeding all other in magnificence, he also sent poets and musitians to present his verses, with tents and pavillions gilt and most suinptuously tapistried.
    • 1840, John Dunlop, The Universal Tendency to Association in Mankind. Analyzed and Illustrated, London: Houlston and Stoneman, page 103:
      Olympic Games. — Besides the ordinary confederacies that join independent states together, a singular federal bond is remarkable in the Olympic games, which for many ages cemented the Grecian commonwealths by a joint tie of recreation and religious ritual.
  2. An international multi-sport event (inspired by the ancient festival) taking place every fourth year. [from 19th c.]
    Every athlete's dream is to compete at the Olympic Games.
    • 2009, Owen Gibson, The Guardian, 28 September:
      Chicago's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games received a boost yesterday when its most famous former resident, the American president, Barack Obama, ended months of speculation by announcing that he would fly to Copenhagen before Friday's vote, in order to lobby on the city's behalf.


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