adverb or adjective
down·​field | \ ˈdau̇n-ˈfēld How to pronounce downfield (audio) \

Definition of downfield

: in or into the part of the field toward which the offensive team is headed

Examples of downfield in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After throwing mostly screens and short passes last week at Minnesota, Milton was forced to look downfield more often against the Spartans. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Joe Milton accepts blame for MSU loss: 'Too busy with my feet'," 1 Nov. 2020 And that extra protection for Lombardi also allowed his receivers time to run their routes downfield, which led to five completions of 30-or-more yards. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football's next task: Avoiding letdown after big win over Wolverines," 1 Nov. 2020 Jackson has struggled in coverage during his career in Green Bay, particularly against receivers who can stretch him downfield. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, "Vikings call: Looking cornered against Aaron Rodgers and Packers," 31 Oct. 2020 The Saints not only controlled the line of scrimmage against Detroit last week, but saw passing lanes open up downfield. Luke Johnson,, "Three things to watch in Saints vs. Chargers Monday night showdown," 12 Oct. 2020 With a pass rush already severely compromised by injury, the 49ers need to be able to cover receivers downfield. Ann Killion,, "Being at home offers 49ers no relief in a rapidly disintegrating season," 11 Oct. 2020 There were multiple plays designed to target him downfield in Week 2, Brees said, but either the defensive alignment or pressure took them away. Jeff Nowak,, "Inside Drew Brees' slow start: A lack of aggressive throws from Saints QB, not arm strength," 25 Sep. 2020 That allowed Allen to stand comfortably in the pocket and look downfield much of the day. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde5: What Burrow, Herbert starts mean for Tua; 3 defensive issues - five Dolphins thoughts," 23 Sep. 2020 Beyond that, there were a handful of plays in which McCarthy pushed the ball downfield and showed off the talent that earned him dozens of scholarship offers and a lofty ranking from recruiting sites. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football commit J.J. McCarthy gives tantalizing taste in Florida debut," 5 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'downfield.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of downfield

1881, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about downfield

Time Traveler for downfield

Time Traveler

The first known use of downfield was in 1881

See more words from the same year

Statistics for downfield

Cite this Entry

“Downfield.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for downfield



English Language Learners Definition of downfield

sports : into or toward the part of the field toward which a team is headed

Comments on downfield

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


Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!