fair catch


: a catch of a kicked football by a player who gives a prescribed signal, may not advance the ball, and may not be tackled
ˈfer-ˈkach How to pronounce fair catch (audio)
transitive verb

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Noah Wheeler notices when other high school or college football players call for a fair catch on kickoffs. Rick Kretzschmar, Dallas News, 25 Oct. 2022 In 2018, the rule was changed so that kickoff receivers can make a fair catch inside the 20-yard line, and players on the kicking team will not be allowed to receive a running start. Sara Novak, Discover Magazine, 11 Feb. 2022 Mario Williams signaled for a fair catch, but fumbled the ball out of bounds at the 1. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 2 Jan. 2023 Returner KaVontae Turpin signaled for a fair catch but forgot the most important part – catching the ball – and set Washington up with prime field position once again. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2023 Detroit led 22-19 when Nyheim Hines had a fair catch of Jack Fox’s punt at the Bills 10 with 8:59 to play. Dave Hogg, Chicago Tribune, 24 Nov. 2022 James’ first career punt at the major college level went 42 yards and resulted in a fair catch just inside the 20. oregonlive, 5 Oct. 2022 Shiloh Christian attempted a pooch kick to open the third quarter, but Parkview's Robert Hodges made a fair catch at the Parkview 47 and the short field worked to the Patriots' advantage. Chip Souza, Arkansas Online, 4 Dec. 2022 Scott had a 37-yard punt that resulted in a fair catch at the Cleveland 28-yard line with 1:48 left in the first half. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 9 Oct. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1891, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of fair catch was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near fair catch

Cite this Entry

“Fair catch.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fair%20catch. Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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