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 The basketball team said goodbye to those seniors with an emotional video. Giana Han, al, "What you need to know about Auburn sports amid virus shutdown," 16 Mar. 2020 Xavier University’s men’s basketball team was on a bus headed back to campus Thursday afternoon when the Musketeers found out the NCAA Tournament was canceled. Adam Baum,, "'Stronger and tougher': Travis Steele on a bitter end and a 'bright' future for Xavier basketball," 14 Mar. 2020 The restaurant, on South Figueroa just down the street from the L.A. Live complex and Staples Center, home to the Lakers and Clippers basketball teams and Kings hockey team, usually fills up for lunch. Los Angeles Times, "L.A. Live catches a chill as Lakers, Clippers, Kings shut down for the coronavirus," 13 Mar. 2020 Arizona women’s basketball team produced the best season in school history and was looking forward to hosting first and second-round NCAA tournament games. Kent Somers, azcentral, "No sports to watch? Fans will adapt but others involved have it much, much worse," 13 Mar. 2020 The two were photographed in 2005 at a game of Arison's Miami Heat basketball team with their wives, and Trump sent Arison a congratulatory tweet in 2012 when the team won the NBA championship. Anchorage Daily News, "Coronavirus pandemic tests clout of cruise industry and its long-standing ties to Trump," 13 Mar. 2020 Madison is hoping to win the fifth state title in team history, which would be one short of the Dallas ISD record for a boys basketball team that is shared by Kimball and South Oak Cliff. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "Madison earned a shot at a second straight title. When, and if, that game will be played, however, is undetermined.," 13 Mar. 2020 This will be the first time since 1938 that the NCAA basketball tournament will not go on. Jason Parham, Wired, "The Week the Sports World Went Dark," 13 Mar. 2020 The decision marked the first March without the basketball tournament in 82 years. Harold Maass, TheWeek, "March 13, 2020," 13 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for basketball

Time Traveler

The first known use of basketball was in 1892

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Statistics for basketball

Last Updated

19 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Basketball.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for basketball


How to pronounce basketball (audio)

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

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