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

With just six regular-season games remaining, Jon Wilner breaks down where each Pac-12 men's basketball team ranks. Jon Wilner, The Seattle Times, "Pac-12 power rankings: As regular season winds down, UW still the clear favorite," 19 Feb. 2019 The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team simply calls this a season. Christopher L. Gasper,, "The Lions in the Super Bowl, a .400 hitter in a season, and other sports dreams I’d like to see become reality," 14 July 2018 The Bison girls basketball team was young last year, which contributed to its 5-25 record. Bob Narang,, "Jacqueline Bickhaus preps for 'season to remember' at Buffalo Grove," 14 July 2018 That makes sense because Yum already has naming rights to the Yum Center downtown, where the U of L men's and women's basketball teams play. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Pizza Hut, Kroger, Republic Bank? Who wants Cardinal Stadium naming rights," 13 July 2018 For the fifth time in team history, the Charlotte men’s basketball team will play in Hawaii. Chapel Fowler, charlotteobserver, "What midseason tournaments will Charlotte, Davidson and App State play in this year?," 11 July 2018 The Boise State women's basketball team will get a rematch with Louisville this fall. Rachel Roberts, idahostatesman, "Boise State will host Final Four squad in Taco Bell Arena this November," 10 July 2018 The men’s basketball team earned $3.1 million in per game revenue. Kelli Stacy,, "A Look At UConn's Top Teams' Attendance, Revenue And Expenses," 10 July 2018 In his last season at Joliet Catholic in 2013-14, coach Ed Schodrof posted a 28-3 record and guided the girls basketball team to a Class 3A state runner-up finish. Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, "New coach Ed Schodrof looking to continue 'storied' history of Hillcrest girls basketball," 3 July 2018

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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Statistics for basketball

Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for basketball

The first known use of basketball was in 1892

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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

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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