Definition of acrobat in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈakrəˌbat/


1An entertainer who performs gymnastic feats.
Example sentences
  • The Moscow State Circus is famous worldwide thanks to its spectacular displays from acrobats, clowns, gymnasts, trapeze artists and lots more.
  • The play itself begins at 8: 30 p.m., but the spectacle begins at 7: 30 with a team of acrobats performing death-defying feats.
  • Both were, of course, memorable events which used spectacular fireworks, acrobats, singers, dancers and musicians to showcase the city to the world.
gymnast, tumbler, tightrope walker, trapeze artist, aerialist
2A person noted for constant change of mind, allegiance, etc.
Example sentences
  • What intellectual acrobat will you find stooped in the cotton fields with sore and bleeding hands?
  • Jackson is a known verbal acrobat, able to say things without really saying them.
  • Maybe he is a sort of philosophical acrobat, balancing himself in precarious equilibrium on the rope of marginality.


Early 19th century: from French acrobate, from Greek akrobatēs, from akrobatos 'walking on tiptoe', from akron 'tip' + bainein 'to walk'.

  • The earliest acrobats were tightrope walkers, which explains why the word derives from Greek akrobatos, meaning ‘walking on tiptoe’. The akro- part of akrobatos meant ‘tip, end, or summit’ and is found in several other English words. The acropolis (mid 17th century) of a Greek city, most famously Athens, was the fortified part, which was usually built on a hill. Acrophobia (late 19th century) is fear of heights. An acronym (mid 20th century) is a word such as laser or Aids formed from the initial letters of other words, and an acrostic (late 16th century) is a poem or puzzle in which the first letters in each line form a word or words.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ac·ro·bat

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