Definition of “marathon” - English Dictionary

“marathon” in British English

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marathonnoun [ C ]

uk /ˈmær.ə.θən/ us /ˈmer.ə.θɑːn/

marathon noun [ C ] (RACE)

B2 a running race of slightly over 26 miles (42.195 kilometres):

the London/New York marathon
She did/ran her first marathon in just under three hours.

More examples

  • The marathon began at a cracking pace.
  • Running a marathon takes a lot of doing .
  • Running a marathon is a test of human endurance.
  • These are the running shoes favoured by marathon runners.
  • Fibber! You couldn't run ten kilometres, let alone a marathon!

marathonadjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈmær.ə.θən/ us /ˈmer.ə.θɑːn/

(Definition of “marathon” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“marathon” in American English

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marathonnoun [ C ]

us /ˈmær·əˌθɑn/

a long race, run on roads, of 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers:

The New York City marathon begins in Staten Island and ends in Manhattan’s Central Park.

A marathon is also an activity that continues for a very long time:

a dance marathon

marathonadjective [ not gradable ]

us /ˈmær·əˌθɑn/

A marathon activity is one that continues for a very long time:

The marathon negotiating session lasted all night.

(Definition of “marathon” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)