football

play
noun foot·ball \ ˈfu̇t-ˌbȯl \

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
2 a :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

footballer

play \ˈfu̇t-ˌbȯ-lər\ noun

Examples of football in a Sentence

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

Recent Examples of football from the Web

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.

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.

First Known Use of football

15th century

Other Field and Goal Sports Terms



FOOTBALL Defined for Kids

football

play
noun foot·ball \ ˈfu̇t-ˌbȯl \

Definition of football for Students

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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