"...An all-round amateur athlete of distinction and until recently tutor of English literature at..."

Could anybody provide an explanation, please?

  • Did you look up “distinction” in a dictionary? If you’re not able to understand the meaning from that, please edit your question to include what you don’t understand there.
    – Laurel
    Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 23:21
  • I did not. Now I have read the article on "distinction" on thefreedictionary and found the example: a man of distinction. Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 5:16

1 Answer 1


To be distinct or to distinguish one's self is to be exceptional, to stand out from a crowd. So describing someone as an athlete of distinction is to say the athlete has won some exceptional awards or accolades.

  • I find this conflicting - amateur and distinct. I can't consider an amateur athlete as exceptional. Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 1:12
  • @EvgeniNabokov Amateur means unpaid, not how good someone is. Though it’s fair to assume he is distinguished compared to other amateurs unless the context directly mentions a comparison to professionals.
    – StephenS
    Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 4:04
  • @StephenS Yeah, probably among tutors of English literature that athlete is distinctive. Commented Aug 26, 2020 at 5:15

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