noun, often attributive
\ ˈgälf How to pronounce golf (audio) , ˈgȯlf, ˈgäf, ˈgȯf, sometimes ˈgəlf\

Definition of golf

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a game in which a player using special clubs attempts to sink a ball with as few strokes as possible into each of the 9 or 18 successive holes on a course


communications code word

Definition of Golf (Entry 2 of 2)

used as a code word for the letter g

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Other Words from golf


golf intransitive verb
golfer noun

Did You Know?

This is a game in which a player using special clubs attempts to sink a small ball into each of the nine or 18 successive holes on an outdoor course, using as few strokes as possible. Golf developed in Scotland as early as the 15th century; the courses were originally fields that herds of sheep had clipped short in their characteristic grazing style. Golf balls, originally made of wood, are now made of hard rubber. Clubs are known by the traditional names of “irons” and “woods”; today irons are more likely made of stainless steel than iron, and the heads of woods are usually made of metal such as steel or titanium instead of wood.

Examples of golf in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Liberals are more likely to go to the beach by eight percentage points and more likely to indulge in fine dining by nine percentage points, while conservatives are more likely to go fishing or play golf. NBC News, "Meet the Press - July 7, 2019," 7 July 2019 Whatever a kind, generous guy does privately—celebrating Father’s Day by his pool, playing golf at his club, allegedly stabbing his wife and her friend to death—is simply his own personal business. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "O.J. Simpson Has a Little Bit of Getting Even to Do on Twitter," 5 July 2019 While hundreds of thousands of people gathered in D.C. for the bicentennial parade in 1976, Gerald Ford played golf in Bethesda. Madeleine Joung, Time, "Trump's 'Salute to America' Highlighted a Contradiction in His Presidency," 5 July 2019 Key partnerships: Knowing that signee Cale Dodds loves to play golf, Swift reached out to retired pro (and country music fan) Chelsea Pezzola over Instagram DM, inviting her to meet Dodds in person. Tatiana Cirisano, Billboard, "Jobs of Tomorrow: How Content Strategists Turn Artists' Pop-Culture Passions Into Creative Partnerships," 27 June 2019 Among spectators at Hazeltine was Simley freshman Isabella McCauley, who won the Class A girls state golf championship by 10 shots, shooting 9 under par for 36 holes at Bunker Hills. Charley Walters, Twin Cities, "Charley Walters: Twins’ revival proving to be hit at box office," 22 June 2019 Evelyn Glick of Woodholme captures her eighth Baltimore City women’s golf championship at Hillendale. Mike Klingaman,, "This week in Baltimore sports history: Orioles great Cal Ripken Jr. announces retirement," 16 June 2019 The Crusaders junior, who has already committed to USC, collected birdies on five of the last six holes to win the golf state championship. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Cast your vote for Girls Prep Athlete of the Year," 8 June 2019 One avenue is Children’s of Alabama, the primary beneficiary of the Regions Tradition, the first Champions Tour golf major championship to be hosted in Alabama. William Thornton |,, "Regions has $7.6 billion economic impact on Alabama," 5 June 2019

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


15th century, in the meaning defined above

Communications code word

1952, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for golf


Middle English (Scots)

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Learn More about golf

Dictionary Entries near golf

gold yellow





golf bag

golf ball

Statistics for golf

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for golf

The first known use of golf was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for golf



English Language Learners Definition of golf

: an outdoor game in which players use special clubs (called golf clubs) to try to hit a small ball with as few strokes as possible into each of 9 or 18 holes


\ ˈgälf How to pronounce golf (audio) , ˈgȯlf\

Kids Definition of golf

: a game played by hitting a small ball with special clubs into each of nine or 18 holes in as few strokes as possible

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More from Merriam-Webster on golf

Spanish Central: Translation of golf

Nglish: Translation of golf for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of golf for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about golf

Comments on golf

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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