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 McFadden was a wheelchair basketball player at the University of Illinois. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 4 Sep. 2021 Bill Walton remains the greatest high school basketball player in history (how could anyone be better?), and that also goes for college ball. Nick Canepa Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 Sep. 2021 The Phoenix Mercury star, 39, and her retired pro basketball player wife, 40, are currently expecting their second child together. Benjamin Vanhoose,, 2 Sep. 2021 The Seawolves are tapping into the Devine pipeline for another basketball player. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Sep. 2021 After that: a profile of wheelchair basketball player Josie Aslakson, who is competing in the Paralympic Games. Los Angeles Times, 30 Aug. 2021 And for me that meant finding a way to make a living in sports after my dreams of becoming a professional basketball player and, later, a professional soccer player were extinguished. Michael Cohen, Detroit Free Press, 29 Aug. 2021 It’s based out of the Copperview Recreation Center in Midvale, where Tokyo Paralympic wheelchair basketball player Ali Ibanez got her start with the Salt Lake Wrecking Crew. Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 Aug. 2021 The young basketball player is being compared to Kawhi Leonard, and young Congolese players call him an inspiration. Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, 20 Aug. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near basketball

basket ash



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Statistics for basketball

Last Updated

8 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Basketball.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on basketball

Nglish: Translation of basketball for Spanish Speakers

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


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