noun, often attributive
bas·​ket·​ball | \ ˈba-skit-ˌbȯl How to pronounce basketball (audio) \

Definition of basketball

: a usually indoor court game between two teams of usually five players each who score by tossing an inflated ball through a raised goal also : the ball used in this game

Examples of basketball in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Bittle attended school with Harris’ mother, Lisa, played college basketball at the University of Tulsa with his uncle, Timmy, and even taught Chris as an eighth-grader at Bixby Middle School in typing class. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "“His heart is beyond big.” Broncos’ Chris Harris gives back to hometown with annual camp.," 23 June 2019 His dad Gilbert played basketball at Pitt and his mom, Amy, played at Kent State. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "Phoenix Suns: Five things to know about Cam Johnson," 21 June 2019 Ilyas says Ramos constantly antagonized the children and pulled knives on them for riding bikes and playing basketball. Washington Post, "The Latest: Neighbor: Suspect in slaying harassed family," 20 June 2019 May, whose two sons — Jack May, a senior, and Charlie, a sophomore — play basketball for the Scots, added the talented Ralat to FAU after the team finished 17-16, its first winning season since 2011. Gary Curreri,, "Saint Andrew’s Scots have 11 sign with schools," 20 June 2019 Malensek signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Division II Truman State University in Missouri. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two former Brookfield Central High School star athletes charged with drug dealing will be sentenced," 19 June 2019 Browse through the photos above for a look at every NBA draftee who played high school basketball in the Houston area. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "All-time Houston area players taken in the NBA Draft," 19 June 2019 Whether Bird is leaving the state where he was born and raised, played college basketball, coached the Pacers and then was president of the NBA team, is unclear. Indianapolis Star, "Larry Bird's $2.3 million Indianapolis mansion for sale; his Naples home off the market," 19 June 2019 While most people would just reach for a pair of shorts and an old T-shirt to play basketball, Quavo instead practices his half-court shots in brand new Louis Vuitton gear. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Only Quavo Could Pull Off This Highly Unexpected Accessory," 18 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'basketball.' 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 basketball

1892, in the meaning defined above

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More Definitions for basketball



English Language Learners Definition of basketball

: a game in which two teams of five players bounce a ball and try to score points by throwing the ball through one of the raised nets at each end of a rectangular court
: a large rubber ball that is used in the game of basketball


bas·​ket·​ball | \ ˈba-skit-ˌbȯl How to pronounce basketball (audio) \

Kids Definition of basketball

1 : a game in which two teams try to throw a ball through a hanging net
2 : the ball used in basketball

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More from Merriam-Webster on basketball

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with basketball

Spanish Central: Translation of basketball

Nglish: Translation of basketball for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of basketball for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about basketball

Comments on basketball

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having a desire to acquire more things

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