- an ancient Greek festival consisting of contests in athletics, poetry, and music, held every four years at Olympia to honor Zeus
- a modern international athletic competition that is generally held every four years in a different location, consisting of summer events, as track and field, swimming, and volleyball, and, in a different city and month, winter events, as skiing, ice skating, and ice hockey: until 1992 all the events were held in the same year but since 1994 the winter events and summer events have been separated by a two-year interval
See Olympic games in American Heritage Dictionary 4
a. (used with a pl. verb) A group of modern international athletic contests held as separate winter and summer competitions every four years in a different city. In 1994 the winter games were moved ahead two years so that the winter and summer games would alternate every two years.
b. (used with a sing. verb) The set of contests that occur in one season: an Olympic Games that was boycotted by many countries. Also called Olympics.
- (used with a pl. verb) A Pan-Hellenic festival in ancient Greece consisting of athletic games and contests of choral poetry and dance, first celebrated in 776 B.C. and held periodically until A.D. 393 on the plain of Olympia in honor of the Olympian Zeus. Also called Olympian Games.
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