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

Could anybody provide an explanation, please?

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  • 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 Aug 25 '20 at 23:21
  • I did not. Now I have read the article on "distinction" on thefreedictionary and found the example: a man of distinction. – Evgeni Nabokov Aug 26 '20 at 5:16
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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.

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  • I find this conflicting - amateur and distinct. I can't consider an amateur athlete as exceptional. – Evgeni Nabokov Aug 26 '20 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 Aug 26 '20 at 4:04
  • @StephenS Yeah, probably among tutors of English literature that athlete is distinctive. – Evgeni Nabokov Aug 26 '20 at 5:15

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