Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Athleisure Gets a Dictionary Definition

New, 1 comment
Photo: Keith E. Morrison/Racked NY

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Merriam-Webster Unabridged's dictionary now recognizes the term "athleisure" as a word — it's official as of a blog post today. It took years of wearing leggings to the grocery store to reach this milestone.

"The new entries offer a kind of snapshot of how exactly our language expands. It doesn’t happen quickly—we monitored many of these words for years before they’d met our criteria for entry," Merriam-Webster's blog reads.

Merriam-Webster's apparently paying close attention to the fashion industry for new words. Not only did "athleisure" make it in along with the dictionary's 1,400 new terms and phrases for 2016, other fashion terms like "fit and flare" made it in ("fit-and-flare" is also correct).

Fit and flare's definition is straightforward enough: "Fitted through the waist and flaring out at or below the hips." Then it's used in a couple of sentences about fit-and-flare dresses.

Did you know the word 'athleisure' was first used in 1976? Read the complete dictionary definition, with phonetic spelling, below.