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first down

noun

Simple Definition of first down

  • American football : the first of a series of usually four downs in which a team must gain 10 yards to keep the ball; also : the right to start a new series of downs after a gain of 10 or more yards

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of first down

  1. 1 :  the first of a series of usually four downs in which a football team must net a 10-yard gain to retain possession of the ball

  2. 2 :  a gain of a total of 10 or more yards within usually four downs giving the team the right to start a new series of downs

Examples of first down in a sentence

  1. They have first down on the 20-yard line.

  2. The pass was completed for a first down.



Circa 1897

First Known Use of first down

circa 1897


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