From French marathon, coined in 1894 by linguist Michel Bréal for the first modern time Olympic Games after Ancient Greek Μαραθών (Marathṓn), a town northeast of Athens. Phidippides the Greek ran the distance from Marathon to Athens to deliver a message regarding the Battle of Marathon. The modern sport of marathon running is based on a run approximately the same distance. The toponym itself comes from μάραθον (márathon, “fennel”) and refers to the prevalence of the plant in the area.
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈmæɹəθən/
- (US) IPA(key): /ˈmæɹəˌθɑn/, /ˈmɛɹəˌθɑn/
Audio (UK) (file)
- Hyphenation: mar‧a‧thon
marathon (plural marathons)
- A 42.195 kilometre (26 mile 385 yard) road race.
- (figuratively, by extension) Any extended or sustained activity.
- He had a cleaning marathon the night before his girlfriend came over.
- To run a marathon.
- 2015 August 1, “‘I was cross that my child had to beg the prime minister for a drug’”, in The Guardian:
- In less than two years, they and their family and friends have skydived, marathoned, tray-baked and dinner-danced their way to £130,000 for Duchenne research through their help4harry campaign.
- (informal, transitive) To watch or read a large number of instalments of (a film, book, TV series, etc.) in one sitting.
- We're going to marathon Star Trek next weekend.
- ^ "Μαραθών". A Greek-English Lexicon. 1940. Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott. 12 September 2013, http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus:text:1999.04.0057:entry=*maraqw/n.
- → Papiamentu: máratòn
marathon m (plural marathons)