from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun retronym an indoor racket sport from which the modern game of tennis (lawn tennis) is descended

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun an ancient form of tennis played in a four-walled court


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  • So called from being the real, authentic game of tennis, played for hundreds of years, as opposed to the newly-invented sphairistike or lawn tennis.

    The term 'real tennis' is first known in an 1880 letter of George Eliot; the variant 'royal tennis' is attested from 1902, originally an Australian term, either the origin or a result of a folk etymology.

    August 21, 2008