noun, often attributive
bas·​ket·​ball | \ˈba-skit-ˌbȯl \

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

Even right now, players are finding ways to take out opponents with basketballs, the tomahawk projectile, and by crashing vehicles into another. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Black Ops 4 merges Fortnite and PUBG into the best Call of Duty in years," 19 Oct. 2018 Despite his busy schedule, Quavo still carves out time to play basketball, one of his favorite pastimes. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Watch Quavo Make a Half-Court Shot in a Full Louis Vuitton Look," 8 Oct. 2018 There were baseball and basketball machines, a couple of car racing games, some target shooting, and even what looked to be a primitive version of Rock'em Sock'em Robots. Eric Bangeman, Ars Technica, "This arcade is really vintage: Visiting San Francisco’s Musée Mécanique," 29 Sep. 2018 The 14-member panel, which also typically features NBPA executive director Michelle Roberts sitting in, is comprised of three owners, three coaches, three heads of basketball operations, three players and two officials. K.c. Johnson,, "Fellow Duke big man Harry Giles praises Bulls' Wendell Carter Jr.," 12 July 2018 Knight was a basketball operations assistant for the Northern Arizona Suns of the developmental G League in the 2016-17 season. CBS News, "Billy Knight, former UCLA basketball player, found dead after posting YouTube video," 11 July 2018 The next day, Spectrum SportsNet aired an interview with Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and GM Rob Pelinka in which the two of them talked about what went into signing the superstar. Alysha Tsuji, For The Win, "Lakers GM found out LeBron was coming to LA from a 'congrats' text with balloons," 10 July 2018 That was in the summer of 2016, when Kupchak was overseeing the Los Angeles Lakers’ basketball operation. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte Hornets' Mitch Kupchak explains why Dwight Howard had to go," 6 July 2018 The Bucks also announced that former player, TV analyst and assistant coach Vin Baker is being retained as the team's basketball operations associate/director of program development. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "As the summer league starts, one piece of the Bucks' puzzle remains unsolved," 5 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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Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

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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 \

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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