back·​field ˈbak-ˌfēld How to pronounce backfield (audio)
: the football players whose positions are behind the line of scrimmage
also : the positions themselves

Examples of backfield in a Sentence

a tackle made in the backfield The team has a strong backfield.
Recent Examples on the Web Getting his first coordinator position under Riley’s coaching mentor Mike Leach at Washington State, Grinch’s best defenses were built on stopping the run, creating chaos in the backfield and forcing turnovers. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 7 Nov. 2023 Giants tight end Darren Waller and the rookie receiver Jalin Hyatt should have a better showcase against a Cardinals defensive backfield that features a rookie cornerback, Kei’Trel Clark. Emmanuel Morgan, New York Times, 14 Sep. 2023 Dallas coach Mike McCarthy will be calling plays for quarterback Dak Prescott and a backfield that now features Tony Pollard. Mark Heim |, al, 10 Sep. 2023 With the Trojans in need of any dynamic play-making, Branch showed his versatility with two catches for 17 yards and, in a flashback to his middle school running back days, lined up in the backfield for two carries for 17 yards. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct. 2023 The clinching score culminated a 97-yard drive after Prairie Grove forced a turnover on downs with Cale Bray hitting a Clarksville runner in the backfield. Nwa Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas Online, 8 Oct. 2023 Instead, the Hurricanes decided to call a run play with Donald Chaney Jr. in the backfield. Scott Thompson, Fox News, 8 Oct. 2023 When the ball is snapped, the Eagles’ outstanding line and the 6-foot-1, 223-pound Hurts surge forward as players in the backfield push the quarterback. Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, 6 Oct. 2023 Five plays later and with the ball on the 17-yard line, Bateman lined up wide left, Flowers wide right, Agholor in the slot right, Andrews just to his left and Justice Hill in the backfield next to Jackson, who was in the shotgun. Brian Wacker, Baltimore Sun, 20 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'backfield.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1897, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of backfield was in 1897

Dictionary Entries Near backfield

Cite this Entry

“Backfield.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


back·​field -ˌfēld How to pronounce backfield (audio)
: the football players who line up behind the line of scrimmage
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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