I found a phrase, ‘the new tablet of iPad can sport at least one camera for video conferencing’ in today’s Washington Post article reporting iPad 2. I guess ‘Sport’ here implies ‘chase (move) after plural objects' or ‘Catch' them, because it says 'at least one camera.' But I’m not accustomed to the word, ‘sport’ used in a such way.

COD at hand gives only two meanings of ‘Sport’ as a verb, - 1. to have or wear sth in a proud way so that everyone can see. 2. to play in a happy and lively way. In addition to the above definition, an English Japanese dictionary (Readers Plus Dictionary) provides ‘play with other sex’ and ‘give’ as slang usages, and I can’t find the definition anything near to the context used in the following sentence.

What does ‘Sport’ here exactly mean? Is this common way of using ‘Sport’ as a verb?

A report from the Wall Street Journal says that Apple has begun production of the next generation of the iPad. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, claims that the new tablet will be thinner and lighter, will sport at least one camera for video conferencing and will have better graphics and a more memory.

  • Have you noticed the new synonym for "sport" (in the sense of "wear ostentatiously"): "rock"? "Lady Gaga was rocking head-to-toe latex on Good Morning, America." Feb 19, 2011 at 9:28

6 Answers 6


Oishi-san: @Kosmonaut's, @SLaks', and @yorkensei's answers are all correct, but I think see where you are getting confused.

To "sport" something is to have it visible, or "show it off". Really, all it means in this context is that the new iPad has a camera and wants you to be impressed with that.

If you were sporting a new wristwatch, you would be wearing it in a way that implies you are proud of it. You would be hoping others would look and point and be impressed. In Japanese you would hope people were saying: あれ見て!すごいだよ!

  • Robusto-san I think I was 'sold' interpletation of 'show off' by all answerers in unison. Maybe I was too obsessed with the concept of sports as a noun, and failed to expand imagination to and accept other usages of 'sport' as a verb. By the way あれ見て!すごいだよ! shoud be あれ見て!すごいよ! You don't need 'だ'. I think this is only time that I can take a turn of 'teaching' side to you, language mavens. Feb 10, 2011 at 5:55
  • @Yoichi-san: Thanks for the correction. I originally had すごいよ! but I was concerned that it might be feminine speech. I used to hear だよ endings more with men and simple よ endings with women. But I guess you don't need だ with adjectives? My Japanese is too rusty. すみません!
    – Robusto
    Feb 10, 2011 at 12:18
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    Robusto-san. すごい(凄いin kanji)is an adjective meaning ‘wonderful, gorgeous.’  ‘よ’is a postpositional particle with a function of ‘is’ suffixed to ‘すごい.’ However, in case of women, they tend to suffix feminine postpositional particles ‘わよ’or ‘わね’in such a way as ‘すごいわよ’, ‘すごいわね.’ So a man says‘言ったよ,’ while woman says ‘言ったわよ.’or ‘言ったわね’meaning ‘You said it!’ Polite neutral word to this is ‘言いました.’‘I think it’ll be far more confusing for foreigners than I’m confounded with English phrases unfamiliar to me. Feb 10, 2011 at 22:04
  • Using "sport" in this way is very much to do with advertising the product. It's not English, it's advertising-ese.
    – Colin Fine
    Dec 12, 2012 at 13:46
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    No, this is also (relatively) common in other English use. I see it a lot in novels and other informal writing, but not so much in conversation.
    – user428517
    Apr 9, 2014 at 1:52

This is an established use of the word sport; it is fairly informal, so I wouldn't write it in an academic paper, but it is not particularly unusual.

The relevant definition of the transitive verb, sport, from Merriam-Webster:

to display or wear usually ostentatiously : boast. "sporting expensive new shoes"

  • Kosmonat. I'm not stiil clear. Neither yorksensei's interpletation of 'the tablet shows off at reast 'one camera for video conference' nor your explanation,'the tablet wears 'at least one camera for video conference' does seem to apply to the usage given here to me. What doe it really mean? Feb 9, 2011 at 23:44
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    @Yoichi Oishi: I think you are taking this too literally. The tablet can proudly have (or show off) a camera that is used for video conferencing. That's all it means.
    – Kosmonaut
    Feb 10, 2011 at 1:08

It's a verb that is used in the same sense as "features".

For example:

The car sports a brand-new navigation UI

  • Slaks, every cell phone has a camera today.Then, why the new ipad needs to be equipped with and feature 'at least one camera?' Feb 9, 2011 at 23:47
  • Collection:Slaks, every cell phone has a camera today.Then, why the new ipad needs to be equipped with and feature 'at least one camera? The word, 'at least' really bothers me. – Yoichi Feb 10, 2011 at 0:00
  • @yoichi oishi, this camera is specifically for videoconferencing, not simply for taking snapshots or other low-quality photography. Presumably the iPad features several other videoconference-enabling items as well that will (Apple hopes) make it a preferred item for the videoconferencing market.
    – Hellion
    Feb 10, 2011 at 0:05
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    @Yoichi Oishi: Oishi-san, he's using features in the sense of "has": sports in the context simply means has: The car has a brand-new navigation UI.
    – Robusto
    Feb 10, 2011 at 0:53
  • @YoichiOishi: I understand "at least one" to suggest that it is possible there will be two or more cameras. May 1, 2012 at 23:53

It means to "wear or display" or simply "to have" in this case.

She was sporting a large diamond ring on her left hand.

So it can be used to mean "show off" also.

  • The same question with one to Slacks. Every cell phone has a camera today.Then, why the new ipad needs to be equipped with and feature 'at least one camera? The word, 'at least' really bothers me Feb 10, 2011 at 0:03
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    I think you are reading too much into the word. People like to spice up their prose, right? He is merely using it as a replacement to "have" or "feature".
    – yorksensei
    Feb 10, 2011 at 0:14

As others have said, in this context, sport means to have something, essentially, the new iPad has at least one camera.

I see from the comments you're also confused about the at least. What that means is the reporters have confirmed from their sources that there definitely is one camera, and there is the possibility that there might be two (or more). (As of right now, the current iPad model doesn't have any cameras, so this is a enhancement in technology for the iPad).

  • To me, Waiwai's explanation seems to be more 'selling' than an advice of Yorksensei's, 'not to read too much into the word, because I understand English is very logical language as compared with our language -Japanese Feb 10, 2011 at 0:23

The use of the word sport here means "features", but it's used incorrectly. This is a common mistake among technology writers. To sport means "to wear or be decorated with something", which does not apply to a camera on an iPad.

  • 1
    I think the usage of sport there is fine. OED says that sport, as a verb, can mean to display or exhibit.
    – user11550
    May 2, 2012 at 18:31

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