Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

soccer

play
noun soc·cer \ˈsä-kər\

Simple Definition of soccer

  • : a game played between two teams of 11 players in which a round ball is moved toward a goal usually by kicking

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of soccer

  1. :  a game played on a field between two teams of 11 players each with the object to propel a round ball into the opponent's goal by kicking or by hitting it with any part of the body except the hands and arms —called also association football

Examples of soccer in a sentence

  1. Both of their children play soccer.



Origin and Etymology of soccer

by shortening & alteration from association football


First Known Use: 1885

Other Field and Goal Sports Terms


SOCCER Defined for Kids

soccer

play
noun soc·cer \ˈsä-kər\

Definition of soccer for Students

  1. :  a game played between two teams of eleven players in which a round inflated ball is moved toward a goal usually by kicking



History for soccer

At Oxford University in England, in the 1870s, it became a fad among students to make up slang forms of everyday words by clipping them to a single syllable and then adding the meaningless suffix -er. Most of these coinages, such as footer for football, fresher for freshman, and brekker for breakfast, are unfamiliar in North American English, if they have survived at all. However, one -er coinage has become very successful in the United States: the word soccer. Soccer was shortened from association (or assoc.) football, which was the name for a game played according to the rules of the Football Association, founded in England in 1863.



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up soccer? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to lessen in amount, effect, or force

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

estival hiemal brumal vernal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ