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What is a word for a group of contests? It doesn't necessarily have to be a real word, just something that's concise and obvious, possibly something like decathlon but for an indeterminate number of events.


To add more details, I am not so much focusing on the group of contests themselves but instead on the context in which the contests take place. I believe league is the best I've come up with so far. i.e. an athletic league like the Major League Baseball vs Minor League Baseball.

I was also liking Olympiad, but the idea is that concept I'm going for is supposed to be an indeterminate time period and indeterminate number of games.

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Maybe a competition? – nico May 20 '12 at 7:44
Do you have a context? Otherwise this is very open ended. – simchona May 20 '12 at 7:44
A disappointment of contests. – Optimal Cynic May 20 '12 at 7:49
Perhaps a "tournament". – user16269 May 20 '12 at 7:58
What's the idea of accepting an answer and editing the question majorly? – Kris May 21 '12 at 3:07
up vote 4 down vote accepted
  • If the series of contests is intellectual in nature, consider olympiad or bowl (Knowledge Bowl, Science Olympiad).
  • Less so, then bees (spelling bees), and -offs (Face-Offs, Sing-Offs, Laugh-Offs, Dance-Offs).
  • Individuals in mythology/religion persevere through physical labors and trials against deities and monsters (The Trials of Hercules).
  • Sports has matches, meets, jousts, bowls, rounds and round-robins, best of x, the games. A creative modifier for games could work (see The Hunger Games).

If the word doesn't have to be real, you can try adulterating roots from Latin, Greek, or your own native language (The Athleon, The Pugilics).

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I'm reluctant to suggest a made-up word, but, in this case, you might consider polyathlon.

After all, if a decathlon consists of ten events, a heptathlon seven, a triathlon three, etc., then it stands to reason that polyathlon would have an indeterminate number of events (much like octagon, pentagon, dodecagon, polygon).

Mixing unusual prefixes with -athlon isn't without precedent:

Boylan admits that part of the motivation for his "nonathlon" is to draw attention to LifeWise, a fitness facility on Brambleton Avenue. (Roanoke News, July 18, 2009)

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Try "contests" as a mass noun to refer to a given set of contests.

(If "it doesn't have to be a real word", then this is better than a made-up word.)

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Doesn't a "series" of contests do what you want? "Season" is another possibility.

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