free throw


: an unhindered shot in basketball made from behind a set line and awarded because of a foul by an opponent

Examples of free throw in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web All five Thunder starters scored at least 12, with Gilgeous-Alexander finishing with 33 points thanks, in part, to 10 free throws. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 1 Dec. 2023 The free throw rate has saved Lillard’s start to the season. Brian Sampson, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 The Aztecs have attempted 78 free throws in their last two games, their most in a two-game stretch since the 2000s. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Nov. 2023 The exception is the free throw, stuck more or less where it’s always been. Robert O’Connell, WSJ, 27 Nov. 2023 Old Dominion pulled within six points twice in the final 3:41 before the Razorbacks closed the game by hitting 5 of 8 free throws to win 86-77. Bob Holt,, 14 Nov. 2023 Two free throws by Waters pushed the lead to three with 9.5 seconds left. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 Nov. 2023 Canada was led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who scored a game-high 31 points after making 8-of-12 shots and 14-of-16 free throws. oregonlive, 6 Sep. 2023 The Toreros hit 6 of 15 3-pointers in the second half while connecting on 22 of 28 free throws. San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'free throw.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1891, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of free throw was in 1891

Dictionary Entries Near free throw

Cite this Entry

“Free throw.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

free throw

: a basketball shot worth one point that must be made from behind a specific line and is given because of a foul by an opponent

More from Merriam-Webster on free throw

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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