4

One definition of sport is:

an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

Is there a word for:

an activity involving mental exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.

AKA (e-sport), but not all mental exertion/skill based activities are done on a computer or game platform. Would competition be the best word use (I feel like this word can apply to either physical or mental events though)?

6

I couldn't find a single word , but I found this idiom to be very close to what you want (from Farlex Dictionary of Idioms, via TheFreeDictionary.com):

a battle of wits

a situation in which two people or groups try to defeat each other by using their intelligence (often + between )

Example

"The two young geniuses entered into a battle of wits as they competed for first place in the national trivia championship. As each candidate tried to defend his stance on the hot-button issue, a battle of wits began as they each produced seemingly endless lists of statistics to support their views."

I feel this idiom best suits OP's needs since this is all encompassing when it comes to contextual usage.

  • 2
    Hi, welcome to EL&U! This looks like a good suggestion, and it's great that you've included a definition (+1 from me). In general, it's best to cite your source, and provide a link if possible. I've added these for this definition; feel free to change or adjust the citation/link if you actually found the definition somewhere else or just want it in a different format. It would also be nice if you added a sentence or two about how the quoted definition fits the OP's situation, just so there's a bit more of "you" in your answer. Good luck—I look forward to seeing more of your contributions! – 1006a Jul 19 '17 at 14:21
  • Thanks ! I have been looking around on this forum a long time. Thought it's time for me to contribute :) Did edit my answer to specify why I chose the idiom. – Bharath Jul 19 '17 at 14:41
  • Great! I'm glad you decided to chime in. – 1006a Jul 19 '17 at 14:44
4

You might be able to use game. Relevant definitions, from Merriam-Webster:

1 a (1) : activity engaged in for diversion or amusement : play

3 a (1) : a physical or mental competition conducted according to rules with the participants in direct opposition to each other

Although not all games would fit your requirement of mental exertion and skill, I think any activities that do fit your definition could be called games—and most games, even of the very physical type, also require at least some strategy/mental exertion, at least to remember the rules1. This term also seems a bit more specific to me than competition (which isn't always for entertainment).


1 There is a fair amount of overlap between game and sport, with the key difference largely hinging on

  • How organized the competition is: games require organization and rules, but not all definitions of sport have this requirement; and

  • Physical activity: most definitions of sport, including the one you use, require this—although there is a fair amount of dispute about the level of prowess/exertion required—while definitions of game don't generally require physical exertion, although they do allow for it.

There's a good discussion of the distinction in this answer to the question "Difference between 'game' and 'sport'".

protected by tchrist Jul 19 '17 at 13:06

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.