football

noun
foot·​ball | \ ˈfu̇t-ˌbȯl How to pronounce football (audio) \

Definition of football

1 : any of several games played between two teams on a usually rectangular field having goalposts or goals at each end and whose object is to get the ball over a goal line, into a goal, or between goalposts by running, passing, or kicking: such as
a British : soccer
b British : rugby
c : an American game played between two teams of 11 players each in which the ball is in possession of one side at a time and is advanced by running or passing
e Canada : canadian football
2a : an inflated oval ball used in the game of football
b British : a soccer ball
3 : something treated roughly especially as the subject of a prolonged dispute the issue became a political football in Congress

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Other Words from football

footballer \ ˈfu̇t-​ˌbȯ-​lər How to pronounce footballer (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

The game of US football evolved in the 19th century as a combination of rugby and soccer. The first intercollegiate match was played in 1869 between Princeton University and Rutgers College. In 1873, the first collegiate rules were standardized and the Ivy League was formed. Collegiate football grew into one of the most popular American sports. Professional football began in the 1890s, but did not become a major sport until after World War II. The National Football League (NFL) was formed (from an earlier association) in 1922; in 1966 it subsumed the rival American Football League (created in 1959). The NFL is now divided into an American and a National conference; the conference winners compete for the Super Bowl championship. A Football Hall of Fame is located in Canton, Ohio.

Examples of football in a Sentence

He played a lot of football in high school and college.

Recent Examples on the Web

Their dad Alexander Baldwin, Jr., a high school teacher and football coach, died at age 56, so mom Carol played a big role in their upbringing. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Get to Know Billy Baldwin's Wife and Kids, Who Inspired His New Netflix Show 'Northern Rescue'," 1 Mar. 2019 Instead of sombreros, their low, sleek ponytails (anything else gets caught in the sequins on their jackets) are adorned with a beribboned bow that’s nearly the size of a football. Harper Smith, Allure, "The Beauty Secrets of Mariachi Las Alteñas, an All-Female Mariachi Band in the Heart of Texas," 13 Nov. 2018 Former football player and actor Rosey Grier is 86. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 14 July 2018 Papa John's got a taste of that last year, when Schnatter stepped down as CEO after blaming disappointing pizza sales on the outcry surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem. Candace Choi, Cincinnati.com, "Papa John's to pull founder from marketing after racial slur reports," 13 July 2018 Papa John's got a taste of that last year, when Schnatter stepped down as CEO after blaming disappointing pizza sales on the outcry surrounding football players kneeling during the national anthem. Candice Choi, USA TODAY, "Papa John's to pull founder John Schnatter's image from marketing over racial slur," 13 July 2018 The Rutgers University Police Department is investigating the potential fraudulent use of credit cards by as many as eight Rutgers football players, Keith Sargeant of NJ.com reports. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Report: Rutgers Investigating Up to Eight Football Players in Connection to Credit Card Fraud," 12 July 2018 Following the outline, pipe from one end of the football, along the outer edge, and to the other end. Anna Helm Baxter, Country Living, "Football Whoopie Pies with Cinnamon Cream," 6 Nov. 2018 The ground game wasn’t much of a priority for the Bruins in 2017, with the team rushing the football about 40 percent of the time. Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "New coach Chip Kelly’s UCLA Bruins are No. 45 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'football.' 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 football

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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More Definitions for football

football

noun

English Language Learners Definition of football

US : an American game that is played between two teams of 11 players each and in which the ball is moved forward by running or passing
: a similar Canadian game between two teams of 12 players each
: a ball filled with air that is used in the game of football

football

noun
foot·​ball | \ ˈfu̇t-ˌbȯl How to pronounce football (audio) \

Kids Definition of football

1 : a game played with an oval ball on a large field by two teams of eleven players that move the ball by kicking, passing, or running with it
2 : the ball used in football

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More from Merriam-Webster on football

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with football

Spanish Central: Translation of football

Nglish: Translation of football for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of football for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about football

Comments on football

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