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

Nike confirmed the news in its most recent earnings call during which its Executive Vice President said that the sneakers would launch in spring of the new year, and designed to be used on the basketball court. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Nike’s self-lacing sneakers will return in 2019 at a much more affordable price," 21 Dec. 2018 The adorable celebration featured an ice skating rink built on a basketball court, an arts and crafts station, and even a visit from Santa Claus. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian Shared the Sweetest Family Photos from Saint's Birthday Party," 12 Dec. 2018 The initial renovation made the Coliseum able to easily convert from an ice arena to a basketball court. Colin Diltz, The Seattle Times, "Renovations are nothing new to KeyArena, evolving since 1962 and home to new NHL team," 5 Dec. 2018 The nine scientific instruments are in various states of development, and engineers have finalized their design for major elements of the spacecraft, such as the basketball-court sized solar panels that will power the mission around Jupiter. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "A congressman’s loss clouds the future of two demanding missions to Europa," 3 Dec. 2018 To promote the collection, Beckham modeled some of the pieces, and even stepped into Shaq's shoes on the basketball court. Andrea Park, Glamour, "Victoria Beckham's First Collection for Reebok Collection Is Here—and It's Inspired by Shaquille O'Neal," 20 July 2018 Among the projects proposed for 2019 include playground renovations for Heatherstone Park, Riverwalk Park and Three Meadows; a basketball court at Summerfield Lake and shoreline restoration for the Lincoln Greenway. Michelle Mullins, Naperville Sun, "Naperville News Digest," 13 July 2018 And there sure were a lot more kids in UMBC T-shirts running around the Retriever Activities Center’s basketball court than there used to be. Jonas Shaffer,, "For UMBC men's basketball, March Madness still lingers at summer camps," 10 July 2018 The mansion also has a Riviera slat-water heater pool, a basketball court, a children's park, a chef's kitchen, a game room, a media room, and a beautiful vintage-feeling library. Daniela Sternitzky-di Napoli, Houston Chronicle, "Incredible multi-million dollar mansion for sale in Houston," 10 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

9 Jan 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 \

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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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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