half·​back | \ ˈhaf-ˌbak How to pronounce halfback (audio) , ˈhäf-\

Definition of halfback

1 : one of the backs stationed near either flank in football
2 : a player stationed immediately behind the forward line (as in field hockey, soccer, or rugby)

Examples of halfback in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Dawkins, who won the Heisman Trophy in 1958 while playing halfback at West Point, happened to be on campus at the same time. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, "Remembering Ross Perot: Pete Dawkins landed in jail with his buddy," 13 July 2019 An offensive halfback who sometimes played forward, the team captain earned first-team All-Surf League accolades for Edison (11-7-4), which finished last in the league and failed to qualify for the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs. Matt Szabo, latimes.com, "Daily Pilot Girls' Soccer Dream Team: Emily Johnson sparked big rise from Newport Harbor," 5 July 2019 This Hall of Fame halfback for the Rams led the NFL in scoring and receiving for the 1951 champions. Simmi Buttar, chicagotribune.com, "The NFL has had great nicknames in its history. Here are some of the best.," 14 June 2019 His effect is hard to explain in an age when fullbacks are going the way of the defensive halfback and the drop kick. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 92, Matt Suhey," 6 June 2019 The championship was dedicated to junior halfback Aaron Villareal, who was injured late in the season in a car accident that claimed the lives of three family members. Mitch Stephens, SFChronicle.com, "Winners abound among high school sports teams of the year," 8 June 2019 Midway through the fourth quarter, the East put the stamp on another All-Star Game win when Owen Holtke hit Austin Watt for a 47-yard touchdown strike on a halfback pass. Adam Baum, Cincinnati.com, "East rallies late, beats West in Southwest Ohio All-Star football game," 7 June 2018 Now, as The Wall Street Journal reports, halfback-ing is on the upswing. Southern Living, "Surprise! Retirees Are Flocking to This Southern Region," 16 May 2018 Both first-round wideout Dwayne Bowe and running back Larry Johnson held out at the start of training camp, and former halfback Priest Holmes, sensing a potential opening, tried to make a comeback from a spine injury the year before. Tim Hackett, SI.com, "Life After Hard Knocks: How Do NFL Teams Fare the Following Season?," 17 May 2018

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

1882, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for halfback

The first known use of halfback was in 1882

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English Language Learners Definition of halfback

American football : a player on offense who lines up next to the fullback and who runs with the ball and blocks
: a defensive player in games like soccer and field hockey who is positioned in front of the fullback


half·​back | \ ˈhaf-ˌbak How to pronounce halfback (audio) , ˈhäf-\

Kids Definition of halfback

1 : a football player who runs with the ball and blocks
2 : a player positioned behind the forward line in some games (as soccer)

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with halfback

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