back·​field | \ˈbak-ˌfēld \

Definition of backfield 

: 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

For the Panthers, who are 6-3, Reid has emerged as a key cog in the defensive backfield. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "The Outspoken Voice of the NFL Player Protests—and It Isn’t Colin Kaepernick," 13 Nov. 2018 In the backfield, Penny was flanked to the right of quarterback Russell Wilson. Bob Condotta, The Seattle Times, "Seahawks Play of the Week: Breaking down Rashaad Penny’s big run in his breakout game," 13 Nov. 2018 Typically right in your face, hitting a ball carrier in the backfield as hard as possible. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan LBs Devin Bush Jr., Khaleke Hudson are modern wrecking balls," 28 June 2018 Panthers may have found that in Donte Jackson To be decided in camp Gaulden's usefulness to the Panthers is reliant on his ability to seamlessly transition from position to position in the defensive backfield. Jourdan Rodrigue, charlotteobserver, "Most exciting position battle at Panthers' 2018 training camp fueled by competition," 11 July 2018 Email newsletter: Be ready for all our coverage with Colts Insider Teams do not have to participate in the supplemental draft but all three players could appeal to the Colts, who lack depth in the defensive backfield. Nat Newell, Indianapolis Star, "Colts could make a selection in NFL supplemental draft," 9 July 2018 Michigan's defensive backfield brings everything back again this season. Nick Baumgardner, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Lavert Hill, David Long anchor talented secondary," 30 June 2018 Given all the uncertainty in the defensive backfield, Jon Gruden has to hope for a big jump from safety Karl Joseph. Robert Klemko,, "AFC West Offseason Report Cards: Chiefs Reload, Chargers Poised for a Run, Keenum Holds Broncos’ Fate, Gruden Goes Veteran-Heavy," 27 June 2018 Jordan Polk, a senior cornerback who has offers from Southwest Oklahoma State, Southeast Oklahoma State and Northwest Oklahoma State, was in the defensive backfield with Green when the brutal injury happened. Mark Wright, star-telegram, "Arlington Lamar used tragic moment as inspiration to keep 7-on-7 streak alive," 23 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'backfield.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of backfield

1897, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near backfield

back fat




back file



Statistics for backfield

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for backfield

The first known use of backfield was in 1897

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More Definitions for backfield



English Language Learners Definition of backfield

: the area of the field that is behind the line of scrimmage

: the players who line up behind the line of scrimmage

More from Merriam-Webster on backfield

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with backfield

Comments on backfield

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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